Posted by Andy Benoit
Clinton Portis is out 4-6 weeks with a groin injury. Jason Reid of The Washington Post is suggesting that he could be out forever (as a Redskin, that is).
Could Portis eventually return to the lineup after rehabbing from a third-degree separation of his left groin? Sure. Anything is possible. The Redskins are hopeful he will be back in four to six weeks. There is also a chance, however, that Portis has played his last game for Washington.
The reality is that Coach Mike Shanahan must continue the roster overhaul that began during the offseason if he hopes to lead the Redskins to a Super Bowl. Washington must get younger in the backfield, and bringing back Portis next season would seem as unlikely as the renegotiated contract he received in March of 2008.
Reid points out that many in the organization questioned the rationale of paying an aging, dilapidated Portis a $7.2 million base salary in which $6.4 million was guaranteed. Part of the concern centered around the fact that the 28-year-old has never had great offseason work habits.
However, in private NFL circles, word is Portis and Dan Snyder are extremely close. The running back has long known he has unyielding power in that organization. Of course, whispers about this derive from the Jim Zorn era. It’s doubtful Portis’ power would trump Mike Shanahan’s. (Heck, Albert Haynesworth, who essentially cost three times what Portis cost this season, can’t even crack Shanahan’s starting lineup.)
Portis’ last game in Washington is all but a formality at this point. Whether it has already happened or will happen come January is almost beside the point. Even if Portis makes it back in a month or so, it’s very likely that Ryan Torain will be Washington’s featured back by then. Torain is quicker, bigger and, of course, livelier than Portis. And, though inexperienced, the young ex-Bronco is well-versed in Shanahan’s zone running scheme. He should be able to beat out the old ex-Bronco.
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