- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 16, 2006

The saga of Clinton Portis’ injured shoulder took another wild twist yesterday when Washington coach Joe Gibbs said the Redskins’ star running back won’t play tomorrow in Dallas, while Portis said he planned to play.

“Clinton didn’t practice today,” Gibbs said. “He’ll probably tell me he can play on game day, but … if a guy doesn’t practice, he’s not going to play, so we’ll downgrade him [to doubtful].

“It’s really just because of soreness. Actually, it’s in a different spot in his shoulder. He’s got some soreness there that lingered and kept him from practicing. Hopefully, he’s going to be back next week.”

But, that game next week is a much less critical contest with AFC lightweight Houston, as opposed to tomorrow’s date with NFC East archrival Cowboys.

“I feel a lot different than yesterday,” Portis said. “I feel better. Yesterday, I was really sore. Today, you see how I’m moving around. As of now, my bag’s packed and ready to go to Dallas. We have seen some miracle things happen. This ain’t no situation for me not to be playing in.”

Portis entered Monday’s season-opening loss to Minnesota late in the first quarter and finished with more carries (10-8) and yards (39-22) than starter Ladell Betts. He also scored Washington’s only touchdown.

Apparently, Betts will start again in Dallas with T.J. Duckett, who didn’t play against the Vikings, and Rock Cartwright, who only saw action on special teams, as his backups.

“As far as I know, [Gibbs] is leaving it up to me,” Portis said. “I didn’t know the decision had been made. I thought it was a game-time decision. Am I up or down, playing or not? Whatever’s best for the team.”

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