- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chris Samuels said Tuesday he hopes to return from a potentially career-ending neck injury that cut short his 2009 season with the Washington Redskins. But the 10-year veteran added that he has no regrets if he never plays again.

“At this point, I haven’t put my career [in the] past tense,” Samuels said before handing out Thanksgiving turkeys with some of his teammates and team owner Dan Snyder at the club’s annual Harvest Feast at FedEx Field. “I’m still optimistic about playing again. But one thing about it: I’m not fearful. Right now my spirits are high.

“Some people are even amazed at how I’m going around smiling and joking - my normal self. But football is something I’ve made a good living doing. It’s my job. I enjoy it, I love it - but it’s not who I am. It’s just a job. Whichever decision I make, it’s gonna be fine.”

The six-time Pro Bowl tackle suffered a neck stinger Oct. 11 in the first quarter against Carolina and has not played since.

“Everything went numb,” he said. “I was blessed to walk off the field.”

Several doctors have told Samuels, who has a chronic case of spinal stenosis - a narrowing of the spinal column - that he would risk paralysis if he played again. After the Redskins’ loss at Atlanta on Nov. 8, he said he felt “great,” but he was slightly less effusive Tuesday.

“I’m feeling better now,” he said. “Every now and I then, I may feel a little tingle but nothing severe like it was the first two or three weeks after.”

Samuels said he will be re-evaluated in 2 1/2 to three months.

“It’s a pretty bad injury,” he said. “Stenosis is something I’ve been dealing with for years. So I’ll sit back and wait and see.”

Snyder speaks again

When approached by reporters, Snyder offered little about the Redskins’ disappointing season.

“Right now, today, we’re just celebrating Thanksgiving, giving back to the community as best we can,” he said. “Obviously, I think the team’s playing hard, but we’re all very, very disappointed. Obviously, I’m as disappointed as everyone, and we’re hoping to get things straightened in the near future.”

Then he thanked the media members and left.

Portis eyes return

Ruled out of Sunday’s game in Philadelphia, Redskins running back Clinton Portis hopes to return from his concussion Dec. 6 against New Orleans. Appearing on “The John Thompson Show” on ESPN 980 on Tuesday, Portis said X-rays and MRI results came back negative, but he is still experiencing vision problems when he quickly moves his head side to side.

“I think I passed all the tests I’ve taken,” Portis said. “I could sit still and read everything you put in front of me. But when you move me and shake me around, that’s when [the blurred vision] happens.”

c Staff writer Ryan O’Halloran contributed to this report.

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