- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 22, 2008

Clinton Portis said he will play against the Seahawks in Seattle on Sunday.

Washington Redskins coach Jim Zorn, however, said he won’t know whether the league’s second-leading rusher will play until he sees him warm up before the game at Qwest Field. Portis didn’t get the go-ahead to play against the Dallas Cowboys last week until he proved his readiness in pregame warmups.

“Clinton is game time because he’s really not full speed,” Zorn said. “I’m hoping to see the same thing I saw [last week], but I don’t know. I thought he’d be more involved today, but it is sore. It is cold, it is windy, and it’s hard to get loose.”

Offensive tackle Chris Samuels (knee) and receiver Antwaan Randle El (ankle) returned to practice Friday and will start Sunday. Reserve defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery (Achilles) is getting better, but his status will be a game-time decision.

Cornerback Shawn Springs, meanwhile, will play for the first time in five games. The 12-year veteran tore a calf muscle in Week 4 at Dallas. He didn’t play in a win at Philadelphia the next week, then returned to the field for a loss to St. Louis in Week 6. He hasn’t played since.

“I’m excited to get back out there,” said Springs, who played his first seven seasons in Seattle and signed with Washington as a free agent in 2004.

Springs was a pregame scratch last week, when he was slated to play 15 to 20 snaps. He said he could play a full game Sunday. That’s not the plan, however - Fred Smoot has played well in his absence and newcomer DeAngelo Hall intercepted a pass last week.

“We’ll see how his leg responds [to a full week of practice] to see how much more we’ll give him on Sunday,” defensive coordinator Greg Blache said. “Shawn’s such an experienced corner. He recognizes things by alignment. He recognizes subtleties that the younger corners don’t. He understands how to use his hand, how to use his body position, how to use leverages. He’s one of the real quality corners of this era. He adds a dimension.”

Bring the noise

Zorn had noise blasting during the special situation (third down, goal line, short yardage) part of Thursday’s practice to prepare his offense for raucous Qwest Field.

“It’s going to be obnoxiously loud,” said Zorn, an assistant with the Seahawks the previous seven seasons. “… You cannot hear. We have some things in place [to combat the problem], but it’s all up to the guys because they’re not gonna hear. It doesn’t matter: silent count, scream louder, no motion, motion, whatever. You gotta sit and wait until the ball’s snapped, and that’s the key thing. You can’t flinch.”

Blades goes home

H.B. Blades, who Sunday will make the third start of his career in place of injured linebacker Marcus Washington, has a Seattle connection, like his coach and four of his teammates.

The 24-year-old attended Rose Hill Junior High in Redmond, Wash., as a seventh-grader in 1997 and 1998 when his father, Bennie, was concluding a 10-year NFL career as a Seahawks safety. His uncle, Brian Blades, played receiver for the Seahawks from 1988 to 1998.

“I’m excited to play a lot more, especially in Seattle,” said Blades, a 2007 sixth-round draft pick. “It’s a great city. But I’m not going to play any differently. I just go do my job.”

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