- The Washington Times - Friday, September 15, 2006

Although he spent much of yesterday’s practice in the weight room and acknowledges his left shoulder is “pretty sore,” Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis intends to play Sunday night at Dallas.

Portis had 10 carries and two receptions against Minnesota — his first action since partially dislocating his left shoulder Aug. 13 at Cincinnati.

“As far as I know, I’m playing unless something changes between now and Sunday,” he said. “I’d love to start. I’d love to do everything, but at the same time, we have a deep roster.”

Portis is listed as questionable on the team’s injury report. Director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer said Portis’ shoulder did not suffer any additional damage during the Vikings game.

Portis said he and the Redskins are being cautious in their approach, hoping the shoulder will not be a season-long concern.

“We’re trying to get that out of the way now, taking it easy so we don’t have to deal with this all season,” he said. “If we can get it back to being as strong as possible before the key stretch, then I can get back to firing and doing everything I can without being sore for two, three days after the game.”

Portis played more than expected against the Vikings and indicated he will be ready for a heavier work load at Dallas.

“If you call my number, I’m not going to shy away from nothing,” he said. “If I’m on the field, I feel I can handle whatever they give me. I feel good about [the shoulder], but last week I wasn’t sore. Going through the game, getting hit, having physical contact, it’s just really sore. But I’m glad I came back.”

For the second straight week, Portis didn’t highlight his session with costumes he made famous last year. But they could return in the near future.

“I got other stuff [on my mind] besides finding a costume right now,” he said. “Once we get into the groove of things, who knows?”

Fauria, Springs also sit

Tight end Christian Fauria rolled an ankle in practice Wednesday and did not practice yesterday. He is also recovering from a calf injury, but Tyer said that has become a non-factor. Fauria is listed as probable.

Cornerback Shawn Springs remains doubtful for Sunday night. He is expected to continue running and agility work on the field today.

Defensive end Renaldo Wynn (ankle) has gone through two consecutive practices and is expected to play after missing the Minnesota game.

Tight end Manuel White (knee surgery) was placed on practice squad/injured reserve and was replaced by fullback Nehemiah Broughton, who was released from the 53-man roster on Wednesday.

Fox’s opportunity

Pierson Prioleau’s season-ending injury means that Vernon Fox — signed days before the final preseason game — is the Redskins’ No. 3 safety. Fox saw significant action against Minnesota and recorded one tackle. He also will play on several special teams units.

“It was one of those situations where I was thrown into the fire, so I had to know what was going on,” Fox said. “Reviewing the game, there were some things I could have done better, mostly in recognizing things. It’s hard to get a jump on what the other team is doing when you’re still learning what our defense is doing.”

Fox, who became available when he was released by Detroit, said the Redskins’ system doesn’t have more volume, but is more complicated.

“Often times, when I’ve gone from one system to another, it’s just new terminology,” he said. “But they do some sophisticated things here.”

Beware the trick play

Twice in the last two years, the Cowboys have run trick plays for touchdowns against the Redskins. In 2004, running back Richie Anderson threw a 26-yard pass to Terry Glenn. Last year, a flea flicker ended with a 70-yard, Drew Bledsoe-to-Glenn touchdown.

Gibbs has faced Cowboys coach Bill Parcells 21 times and is 8-13. He acknowledges Parcells’ reputation for trick plays.

“I can remember all kinds of stuff through the years,” Gibbs said. “There have been a lot of things on special teams and he’s always been one to go for it on fourth down.”

Gibbs added that Parcells is more likely to use trickery in bigger games.

“I probably shouldn’t say that,” Gibbs laughed, “but it’s true.”

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