Redskins Notebook

Portis, Alexander Hurt in Redskins' Win Over Eagles

The Redskins deny a final drive by the Eagles, stopping Reggie Brown one foot short of the goal line to preserve a victory at FedEx Field.
By Jason La Canfora And Dan Steinberg
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, December 22, 2008

The Washington Redskins reported two injuries from their 10-3 victory over Philadelphia at FedEx Field yesterday, with running back Clinton Portis suffering a bruised right hand and defensive tackle Lorenzo Alexander suffering a hamstring injury. Alexander's injury forced him out of the game, while Portis returned.

Portis has been in out of games and practices for weeks, and he was again slowed yesterday.

He rushed 22 times for just 70 yards one week after rushing 25 times for 77 yards, with backup Ladell Betts continuing to take on a bigger role, particularly on third downs and in the passing game.

Alexander, a promising young lineman who also shines on special teams and plays as an eligible tackle in the jumbo package on offense, was having another strong game.

He was one of the players assigned to shadow Philadelphia star running back Brian Westbrook on screen passes and check downs, but ended up racing 30 yards downfield trying to stay with him on a go route on a busted play.

Alexander pulled up while running down the sideline -- "I couldn't even move my leg down when it happened," he said -- and received immediate medical attention.

Alexander could not get back in the game but was standing and moving relatively normally after the game.

A Bay Area native who was eager to face the San Francisco 49ers in the season finale next week, Alexander said he will not know until an evaluation today how severe the injury is.

"I don't think it's that bad," Alexander said. "I think I'm going to be fine, but I don't know for sure just yet."

Better Than Average

Several Redskins defenders cited a video crafted by defensive coordinator Greg Blache as inspiration for their fine showing last night, saying it reminded them that despite recent losses and late-game miscues, they've been one of the NFL's top defenses.

Blache showed the video -- set to the Average White Band's "Pick Up the Pieces" -- during a defensive meeting Saturday night, and the reviews were glowing.

"We hadn't had a chance to really appreciate what we had accomplished this season defensively, because of everything's that's happened, with the losses that mount up," said linebacker London Fletcher, who also used his Pro Bowl slight as extra motivation. "And that's what his whole goal was showing that video: Despite everything that we've gone through, despite everything that's written and said about us, we are the number five-ranked defense."

During his postgame interview with Comcast SportsNet, Blache called the video "emotional and attitudinal Viagra," and players said he used the same phrase in their meeting.

"That's what we needed," safety LaRon Landry said, "attitudinal Viagra."

Blache previously had dismissed statistics as misleading, but he emphasized to his unit its high rankings in a variety of categories, including yards against.

"We're number five, and that in itself means a lot," defensive end Andre Carter said. "So he was basically just showing this is who we are, this is our identity, and we took that and we ran with it."

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