- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 26, 2009

Clinton Portis did not practice Friday, and the Washington Redskins listed the running back as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions. Coach Jim Zorn, however, said Portis will play.

“His ankles have been sore,” Zorn said. “We’ve got many [other backs] to choose from, but I expect Clinton to be out there ripping around.”

Portis, who has started every game since he finished the 2006 season on injured reserve with a broken hand, declined to comment. Zorn said Portis has been suffering from bone spurs in both ankles - a difficulty the coach had not revealed this season.

“It’s been happening, not all preseason, but he’s got a couple little spurs that are irritating,” Zorn said. “No swelling. It’s just hard for him. He needs to rest them.”

He’ll rest only in practice unless the ankles get much worse.

Still, Portis’ problem could explain why the Redskins gave untested Marcus Mason a series in relief of Portis last week and why they filled the roster spot of injured guard Randy Thomas on Tuesday with a fifth running back, Anthony Alridge.

Portis, who carried 342 times for 1,487 yards in 2008, ran 35 times for 141 yards in the first two games this season. He needs 1,229 yards to surpass Hall of Famer John Riggins as the Redskins’ all-time leading rusher.

Rinehart’s the right guard

Zorn took four days to choose his new right guard, but once the cameras and tape recorders were ready he didn’t wait for a question to announce that Chad Rinehart will take over for Thomas.

“We are going to start Chad,” said Zorn, who gave Rinehart and swingman Will Montgomery the news before Friday’s practice. “You won’t have to ask me the question each week because he’s going to be our starter. He’s not going to look behind his back. He’s going to go. Now, this first game is going to be a real indoctrination, but he’s played in tough situations before.”

Just not in a regular-season game. Zorn said Rinehart’s play during the preseason, especially against the Baltimore Ravens’ formidable starting defense, was a factor in the decision, as were recent practices by the third-round pick in the 2008 draft.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Rinehart said. “I’ve been working hard, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to show the coaches I can play. I feel like I’ve been consistent, and they know what to expect from me.”

Montgomery, who stepped in after Thomas suffered a season-ending torn triceps in the second quarter of last week’s victory over St. Louis, was, in part, a victim of his versatility.

“What I really like about Montgomery is that he can play both positions,” Zorn said. “He’s a guy that I got to have at center and guard.”

The product of Centreville High and Virginia Tech remains the No. 1 backup to left guard Derrick Dockery and center Casey Rabach as well as Rinehart.

“[Zorn] said he thought both of us practiced well and have been playing well,” Montgomery said. “He told me to be ready and just like last week, if something happens to the middle three guys, I’m getting ready to go in and help this team win again.”

Haynesworth fined

A week after receiver Santana Moss was fined $5,000 for his scuffle with New York Giants cornerback Corey Webster, defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was fined the same amount for a hit on Rams quarterback Marc Bulger.

Although he wasn’t flagged on the third-quarter play, Haynesworth was fined for what the NFL called “unnecessarily diving into an opponent.” Bulger was finishing his slide when he was tagged by defensive end Andre Carter. Then Haynesworth arrived and landed on the quarterback, who needed a timeout to recover.

A. Montgomery better

Defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery (knee) and cornerback Fred Smoot (ribs), inactive against the Rams, are probable for the Lions.

Quarterback Jason Campbell (foot) and offensive tackle Mike Williams (illness) are also probable.

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