- The Washington Times - Monday, December 1, 2008

Just before the Washington Redskins and New York Giants kicked off on Sunday, Sean Taylor’s parents, girlfriend and 2-year-old daughter, Jackie, gathered on the field as the late Pro Bowl safety was inducted to the Redskins’ Ring of Fame.

The scoreboard showed highlights of Taylor’s career with Gulliver (Fla.) Prep, the University of Miami and the Redskins. Taylor was murdered last November at age 24 in the South Florida home he shared with his girlfriend, Jackie Garcia, and their daughter.

“I would just like to take this opportunity to thank [Redskins owner Dan Snyder] for this great honor,” said Taylor’s father, Pete. “We really appreciate the D.C. area, the fans and the many people that have blessed us throughout this trying time. … One of the things we talked about when [Sean] came here [in 2004] was the 12th man, the fans of the Redskins. He stated that when you guys make the stadium rock, he begins to rock. Right now, Sean is rocking in heaven.”

After a short break, the Redskins came out of the locker room to join Taylor’s family and Joe Gibbs, who coached Taylor for his entire four-year NFL career. Running back Clinton Portis, a college and pro teammate of Taylor’s and his closest friend on the Redskins, then ran onto the field holding a large flag bearing his buddy’s No. 21.

“It’s been downplayed all week, not to let the emotions flow,” Portis said. “We seen a couple of guys in tears, [cornerback Fred] Smoot. [But] for me, it’s just a year removed. I played in numerous games where I ran out, realizing Sean wasn’t there.”

Portis’ tough day

Portis, out all week with an ailing knee and ribs, and offensive tackle Chris Samuels, out all week with a sprained knee, both started. Portis, who came in as the NFL’s top rusher, returned quickly after jamming his neck but managed just 22 yards on 11 carries in his worst day since a loss at the Giants on Oct. 30, 2005.

“We never really got established on offense,” Portis said. “We didn’t move the ball. The plays was there. We didn’t execute the game plan the way we should have.”

Right defensive tackle Kedric Golston was inactive with bone spurs in both ankles. Anthony Montgomery, just back from a two-game absence with a strained Achilles tendon, started for Golston, who said he didn’t even try to warm up after not practicing all week. H.B. Blades started a second straight game in place of strongside linebacker Marcus Washington (ankle).

Portis’ neck injury was the only new ailment reported by the Redskins.

Thomas scores

Rookie receiver Devin Thomas came in with just 11 catches for 77 yards and a 16-yard run for the year, but the 34th pick in April’s draft finally made a big play. He took a reverse from Ladell Betts, raced 29 yards and dived into the end zone for his first career touchdown to cut New York’s lead to 13-7 with 8:31 left in the second quarter.

“When I turned that corner, I only saw [quarterback Jason Campbell] in my way, and I’m like, ‘All right, let me get around him and try to get in,’” Thomas said. “I seen the pylon, and I’m like, ‘I’m going to stretch it out and get in there.’ Hopefully, there’s more to come. Hopefully, I can help get us going. We’ve got too many weapons not to score.”

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