- The Washington Times - Friday, October 5, 2007

And now for the weekly episode of “As Clinton Turns.” Running back Clinton Portis, the Washington Redskins‘ resident diva whose ailing right knee apparently is much-improved, said he’s not feeling the love from the media as he did in his dress-up days of 2005.

“It was like night and day,” Portis said of his mild sprained right knee. “Yesterday was my first day of trying to do anything [since the injury Sept. 23 against the New York Giants]. It was limited. Today, I ran full-speed on numerous plays, run plays, pass plays. It felt good.”

Consequently, Portis expects to face the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

“If I’m out there on Wednesday and Thursday, they ain’t got no choice but to let me go out there on Sunday,” Portis said. “If they call my number, I’m going to try to respond. If I can’t respond, then [backup Ladell Betts] will be in there.”

Portis said he was surprised by the ongoing drama about his knee and its exact description.

“Sometimes they’re for you; sometimes they’re against you,” he said, referring to the media. “Now it’s, ‘What wrong with Portis? Is Portis going to play?’ A couple of months ago, it was like, ‘Get rid of Portis.’ I’m glad the concern’s back, but I still don’t like none of y’all. I still don’t think y’all on my side.”

As to his not being on the field for the climatic plays at the goal line in the 24-17 loss to the Giants, Portis said, “I was there. I was just on the sidelines taking a knee.”

Portis, who leads the Redskins with 227 rushing yards and 4.7 yards a carry, wants to do his part Sunday to keep Detroit’s explosive offense off the field.

“We’ve got to stay on the field … and find a way to put up points,” said Portis, who has three of Washington’s five touchdowns. “The most points we’ve put up is 20. We’ve got to put up more. We’ve got a pretty good defense, but if it do turn into a shootout, we’ve got to be able to score. It’s going to be hard in this league to win in this league scoring 14, 17 week-in and week-out.”

Bugel has surgery

Redskins assistant head coach-offense Joe Bugel missed practice yesterday after undergoing surgery to remove a kidney stone. Director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer said Bugel will be released from the Virginia Hospital Center today and be at the game Sunday.

In Bugel”s absence, coach Joe Gibbs and assistants Don Breaux and Rennie Simmons handled the offensive line during practice.

“Last week he said he wasn”t feeling good, and when he described some of the symptoms, I knew when I felt that way it was kidney stones,” Gibbs said. “It was a pretty good attack.”

Breaux said Bugel worked all of Wednesday but went to the hospital around 1:30 a.m. Thursday.

Moss sits again

It continues to look unlikely receiver Santana Moss will play against the Lions. Moss sat out his third straight practice and was limited to running sprints.

“I ran faster today, but I really don”t know about Sunday — I’ll know more [today],” he said. “I haven’t put my pads on, I haven’t run routes and I haven’t put my cleats on yet. Until then, I can’t tell you any more.”

Receiver Brandon Lloyd (shin) also sat out practice. Portis, safety Sean Taylor (knee) and cornerback Fred Smoot (hamstring) took all the work. Fullback Mike Sellers (heel) was limited, but the team isn’t concerned about his availability.

If Moss and Lloyd aren’t in uniform, it almost would guarantee the Redskins debuts of Reche Caldwell and Keenan McCardell.

After the bye

The Redskins are 10-8 coming out of byes since the week off was implemented in 1990 (there were two byes in 1993). Coach Joe Gibbs is just 3-3 after byes, 2-1 since he returned to Washington in 2004.

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