The Washington Times - September 25, 2009, 02:06PM

Clinton Portis’ tender ankles have him listed as questionable for Sunday’s game at Detroit, but coach Jim Zorn says the Pro Bowl running back will play even though he couldn’t practice on Friday after being limited the previous two days.

“His ankles have been sore,” Zorn said. “We’ve got many [other backs] to choose from, but I expect Clinton be out there ripping around [against the Lions].”

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Portis, an eight-year veteran, declined comment.

Zorn said Portis has been suffering from bone spurs in both ankles, but that was news to the media that cover the Redskins.

“It’s been happening, not all preseason, but he’s got a couple little spurs that are irritating. [There’s] no swelling. It’s just hard for him. He needs to rest ‘em.”

That will only happen in practice unless the ankles get much worse, but they could explain why the untested Marcus Mason got a series in relief of Portis last week and why the Redskins filled the roster spot of injured guard Randy Thomas with a fifth running back, the swift Anthony Alridge.

Portis, who carried 342 times for 1,487 yards in 2008, ran 35 times for 141 yards in the first two games this season. He needs 1,229 yards to surpass Hall of Famer John Riggins as the Redskins’ alltime leading rusher.

— David Elfin