NFL: Injury ends season early for Redskins’ RB Portis
By JOSEPH WHITE
AP Sports Writer
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) – Clinton Portis’ season has come to an early end for the second year in a row.
Coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday that the Washington Redskins running back will be placed on injured reserve with a torn muscle in the lower abdomen.
The new injury is just above the area of the torn left groin that caused Portis to miss five games. Portis returned from the groin injury for Sunday’s game against Tennessee but lasted only five carries before getting hurt again.
Portis will have surgery and require at least two months of rehabilitation, ending his season with a career-low 227 yards on 54 carries with two touchdowns.
The move could bring an end to Portis’ career with the Redskins after seven seasons. The 29-year-old back is 77 yards short of 10,000 for his career and 648 yards shy of John Riggins’ franchise record.
Portis missed the last eight games of the 2009 season with a severe concussion, and the Redskins brought in veterans Willie Parker and Larry Johnson to challenge him for playing time this season. Parker and Johnson were eventually cut, but youngsters Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams have taken over the bulk of the tailback duties since Portis first hurt his groin against Philadelphia on Oct. 3.
Torain isn’t expected to play this week against the Minnesota Vikings because of a hamstring injury, leaving Williams as the starter and James Davis and Andre Brown as the likely backups. Davis was promoted from the practice squad Monday, and Brown will be signed if he passes a physical.
Portis has three years left on his contract, but his salary would increase to $8.25 million in 2011. Shanahan said he has no doubts that Portis can still in the NFL.
“He’s got such a strong will. It all depends on ‘Does he come back 100 percent?’ ‘Does he want to come back and play?”‘ Shanahan said. “Because he’s got that inner drive that most people don’t have. But obviously he’s got to get well.”
Shanahan said he isn’t second-guessing whether Portis returned from the groin injury too soon. The coach said Portis was ready to play the week before but was held back as a precaution.
“How do you know for sure?” Shanahan said. “You’ve just got to go with your gut and see how a guy practices, and he practiced really well, so who knows for sure?”
In another roster move, the Redskins signed offensive lineman Jacob Bender to the practice squad.