- The Washington Times - Friday, November 20, 2009

Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis will miss his second straight game Sunday because of the effects of the concussion he suffered Nov. 8 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Coach Jim Zorn said Portis “is just foggy enough” for him not to let the two-time Pro Bowl selection practice, let alone face the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys.

“I want to see him practice, and I want to see him have those days where when he practices he doesn’t have residual problems,” Zorn said. “And right now, he can’t even practice, so we’ll keep him out this week.”

Portis had started 40 straight games before Sunday. Washington is 4-6 in the 10 games Portis has missed during his six seasons with the Redskins. Ladell Betts will replace Portis, which was the case in each of the previous 10 games.

Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. who sprained his left ankle in Sunday’s 27-17 victory over the Denver Broncos, was still in a walking boot Thursday. Zorn doesn’t expect to know whether Haynesworth can play until Sunday.

“Albert is coming along,” Zorn said. “The swelling is starting to go down. I do believe that will be a game-time [decision].”

If Haynesworth misses his first game since signing with the Redskins in February, Kedric Golston, a regular in 2006 and 2008, would make his second start of the year. Golston started Week 5 in place of Cornelius Griffin.

Backup tackle Mike Williams, who injured an ankle at Atlanta, was on the field but didn’t participate in team drills. He’ll also be a game-time decision.

Right tackle Stephon Heyer was limited Thursday because of the right knee sprain he suffered Oct. 26 against Philadelphia.

Doughty’s journey

Reed Doughty will never forget his first NFL start. After being a special teamer for his first season and part of his second, he was pressed into the lineup Nov. 18, 2007, when Pro Bowl safety Sean Taylor was sidelined with a knee injury.

That day at Texas Stadium, Terrell Owens torched Doughty and the Redskins for eight catches, 173 yards and four touchdowns in a 28-23 Cowboys victory.

“That seems so long ago,” Doughty said. “I got blamed for four touchdowns, and I wasn’t even on the field for two. That seems so long ago. If I’m not a totally different player, I wouldn’t be in the league. I wouldn’t be getting the opportunity to play. I feel like a capable starter now.”

On Sunday, Doughty will make his fourth start of the season and 13th of his career as part of the NFL’s top-ranked pass defense.

“He’s head over heels [better],” Redskins secondary coach Jerry Gray said. “He’s a lot smarter. He’s not out there just playing. He can kind of figure out what’s going on. He studies. He’s doing the little things that’s going to make him better. Two years ago, he didn’t know that if you line up T.O. in the middle of the defense, he’s going to run straight down and through the middle.”

No fan of Dallas

Rookie linebacker Brian Orakpo starred at Texas and grew up in the Lone Star State, but he’s no fan of the Cowboys.

That’s because of the in-state rivalry between Dallas and his hometown of Houston.

“I don’t like Dallas,” Orakpo said. “I don’t like the city. I’m a Houstonian - gotta represent. We hate Dallas.”

The hype about Cowboys week reminds Orakpo of a game he played every year in Dallas, the Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl between Texas and Oklahoma.

“You got two good teams with a lot of great tradition,” Orakpo said.

Orakpo has handled the transition from college defensive end to NFL linebacker better than expected, though that doesn’t mean he’s ready to handle Cowboys perennial Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten in single coverage.

“It will be almost unfair to say, ‘Hey, Brian, you’re going to take this guy by yourself,’ ” Gray said. “I don’t think that would be smart.”

Witten has 49 catches, 18 more than any of his teammates. However, he has just one of Dallas’ 14 touchdown receptions.

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