- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 21, 2006

Clinton Portis showed up yesterday — as himself. Neither Coach Janky Spanky nor Jerome from Southeast was in sight at the weekly media session. Just Portis, the Washington Redskins running back.

And according to Portis — formerly known as Dr. I Don’t Know — the injured left shoulder that forced him to miss all but one of the past five preseason and regular season games is 100 percent.

“I took a couple of shots and I ended up OK,” Portis said of Wednesday’s practice — his first full session since he partially dislocated the shoulder on Aug. 13 at Cincinnati.

Portis is expected to start against the Texans at Houston on Sunday after serving as a backup in the season-opening loss to the Minnesota Vikings and not playing at all in Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys in Dallas.

“They can expect a full-throttle Portis,” he said. “It’s no setbacks or limited plays for me, or we’re going to do this for me and do something else for Ladell [Betts, his stand-in the past two games]. I’m part of the game plan.”

That’s what Texans coach Gary Kubiak expects, and he should know. Kubiak served as offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos when Portis ran for a combined 3,099 yards for them in the 2002 and 2003 seasons.

“I see the same down-in and down-out player,” Kubiak said. “Clinton has tremendous speed if he gets in the back end. He can make a big play. If he’s in there on protection, he’ll chip an end or help his tackle. He plays the game physical. Clinton wants the football.

“I know he’s anxious to get going again after missing last week.”

Portis is excited about the prospect of helping a Redskins offense that scored just one touchdown — his 5-yard run against the Vikings — in two games.

“Having the opportunity to carry the team on your back, you want to do it,” said Portis, who set a franchise record with 1,516 rushing yards in 2005. “Hurt shoulder or not, I want to do that.”

Not that Portis is worried about his shoulder, which will be covered with a protective harness during games.

“Soreness is going to come,” Portis said. “[The Vikings’ game] was the first time I had taken a shot in four weeks. It was like coming back to camp, not running, not doing nothing. You come back to camp, you’re going to have some tweaks.”

Asked if his weekly dress-up act is a thing of the past, Portis smiled and said, “Hopefully, we won’t need the characters. Hopefully, you’ll see the character in this team and we’ll go out and establish win after win.”

Springs out

Injured cornerback Shawn Springs will not play against the Texans on Sunday.

The starter’s comeback from abdominal surgery was aborted on Wednesday after he slightly strained his right groin five minutes into his first practice in more than five weeks.

An MRI of the groin didn’t reveal a major tear, and assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams said, “Hopefully, Shawn will be ready to go next week.”

Kenny Wright, who played for the Texans from 2002 to 2004, will continue to start in place of Springs.

Salave’a doubtful

Defensive tackle Joe Salave’a missed a second straight practice because of a calf strain he suffered against the Cowboys.

Director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer said Salave’a’s condition had improved, but he remains listed as questionable.

Williams, however, said he doubts Salave’a will play.

Sixth-round draft choice Kedric Golston, who has moved ahead of Anthony Montgomery and Ryan Boschetti on the depth chart, likely will start in his place.

“I’m not worried about starting,” said Golston, who played more than 30 snaps in Dallas. “I’m just working every day on my technique and trying to get better.”

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