- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Washington Redskins are optimistic running back Clinton Portis will return from his partially dislocated left shoulder in time for the Sept. 11 season opener against the Minnesota Vikings.

Portis was examined at length yesterday in Birmingham, Ala., by surgeon James Andrews, who concurred with the diagnosis made by the Redskins’ medical team after Portis was hurt in the first quarter of Sunday’s 19-3 preseason-opening loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

“The feeling is that it’s something that’s going to be sore,” Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said. “As soon as we get the soreness out of there, they feel like Clinton can start rehabbing. You would think that it’s a lot better than getting something separated. It would probably be hard for him to play the rest of the preseason. We would hope he would be ready for the opener.”

Portis said he was so sore that he couldn’t sleep Sunday night and added that top veterans should skip preseason.

“I don’t know why myself or any other player of my caliber should be playing in the preseason,” Portis said. “For the last four years, I’ve done enough to show the world I’m going to be ready for the season.”

However, Gibbs affirmed the importance of preseason even after seeing Portis go down Sunday and after losing offensive tackle Jon Jansen for the season in the 2004 preseason opener.

“The preseason games are the first time that you can have real full-go contact,” Gibbs said. “You’d love to get [your starters] eight, 10, 12 plays. You’d like to get them started with some contact and get in some kind of a groove. … If you back off that, you hurt the preparation for your team.”

Portis said several teammates questioned him about racing to make a tackle after an interception in Sunday’s game.

“[But] if I let him go, I’m sitting in the meeting tomorrow getting yelled at [by coaches],” Portis said.

While Portis was the big story, Gibbs said backup outside linebacker Chris Clemons would miss two to three weeks after spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee on his second play. Gibbs’ projection was half the time Clemons said he was told he would be out.

“I got hit from the side, and my leg crumpled,” said Clemons, who went on injured reserve after spraining his right knee Dec. 24 against the New York Giants. “I heard a pop. I was able to walk off under my own power last year. This feels worse, [but] I don’t think I should have to miss the whole season.”

That’s the fate of reserve running back Kerry Carter, who tore ligaments in his right knee against the Bengals. Rookie linebacker Spencer Havner said his hyperextended right elbow was “no big deal” and that he expects to practice today. So does defensive end Nic Clemons, who strained a knee in the Aug. 6 scrimmage with Baltimore.

Gibbs hopes rookie guard Kili Lefotu, who passed out in his room Wednesday, will practice this week. Cornerback Ade Jimoh, out since slightly separating his sternum last Tuesday, said he was improving but was unsure when he would return to action. Rookie running back Jesse Lumsden (groin) could return today.

Posey on way?

With Clemons out a while, the Redskins were on the verge of signing outside linebacker Jeff Posey, who played for assistant coaches Gregg Williams, Jerry Gray and Danny Smith in Buffalo. Posey, cut by new Bills coach Dick Jauron earlier this month, started 76 games the past eight years for five teams.

Campbell goes second

Gibbs said second-year man Jason Campbell, who had the best night of Washington’s three quarterbacks in Cincinnati, will play after starter Mark Brunell in Saturday’s preseason home opener against the New York Jets. Veteran Todd Collins, who got to play before Campbell in a poor Redskins debut against the Bengals, will be No. 3 on Saturday.

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