- The Washington Times - Monday, November 9, 2009

Just as the defeats continue to mount for the Washington Redskins, so do injuries to starting players.

During his press conference today at Redskin Park, coach Jim Zorn said safety Chris Horton (toe) and right tackle Mike Williams (ankle) are definitely out for Sunday’s game against Denver, and he listed running back Clinton Portis (head) as doubtful.

Zorn spent the first four minutes of his 16-minute session talking about injuries that have played a role in the Redskins’ woeful 2-6 first half, which ended with Sunday’s 31-17 loss at Atlanta.

Their season essentially over, the Redskins might have trouble practicing because of a lack of healthy bodies.

“I’m concerned about all of our injuries, no question about it,” Zorn said. “It’s what teams have to deal with each week. We’ve absolutely had our share but one of the things we will do is, we’ll be competitive. We will go out and compete and put out the best guys we can get in this program and give their best effort.

“These guys want it. Just based on what we did in the second half, we didn’t have any kind of doubt that we didn’t put people on the field who didn’t want to play hard and go for it. It’s something we have to be mindful of as we get our group together and see what they can do and we have to ask them to rise up. That’s the nature of football.”

The injury rundown:

* Horton is the most severe of the injuries. The second-year player sustained a ligament injury in his big toe and will be out four to six weeks. If surgery is required, he will be out four to six months.

“Underneath his big toe, it was damaged in such a way, it potentially needs to be repaired,” Zorn said. “We’ll find out more once he gets to the specialist. He’s definitely out, possibly an injured reserve candidate.”

Reed Doughty is expected to become the starter at strong safety, Kareem Moore’s role will increase and Fred Smoot could receive time depending on the opponent’s personnel. Zorn said moving free safety LaRon Landry closer to the line of scrimmage is “definitely a possibility.”

The Redskins might also sign a safety.

* Williams’ ankle injury is a ligament tear that will keep him out a minimum of two weeks but isn’t expected to require surgery.

Zorn said Stephon Heyer will move back to right tackle (where he started the season) and recently signed Levi Jones will play left tackle.

* It has not yet been determined if Portis has sustained a concussion. He doesn’t remember the play he was injured on.

“He’s got a headache,” Zorn said. “I would say he’s doubtful for this week. That’s just my opinion but we have to be cautious if there’s a concussion there. We’ll get an impact test on him tomorrow as things settle in.”

If Portis can’t play, Ladell Betts will be the team’s top running back.

In other developments from the press conference:

* Zorn elaborated on the halftime atmosphere in the Redskins’ locker room. Joe Bugel wasn’t the only coach getting fired up.

“We got in a couple guys’ craw if you will and they responded,” Zorn said. “They took the challenge.”

* Zorn wouldn’t say whether the Redskins would support DeAngelo Hall if he calls the league office about the sideline confrontation with half of the Atlanta roster and coach Mike Smith. Zorn watched a replay of the melee this morning.

“I read what he said and it looked to me on video that’s what exactly happened,” Zorn said. “There was emotion involved because their quarterback had just been hit. The emotion rose. I started to see things happening and actually got out there to make sure our group didn’t enter into their sideline and they didn’t. They kept their composure.”

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