Portis' hopes of playing vs. Cowboys fade

Nfl Notes

November 13, 2008|By From Sun news services

Running back Clinton Portis was again absent from the Washington Redskins' practice field yesterday, making his chances of playing in Sunday's NFC East game against the Dallas Cowboys appear more and more remote.

If the words uttered by his backups are any indication, Redskins fans need not worry.

Shaun Alexander, Ladell Betts, Rock Cartwright and Mike Sellers all touted their credentials as quality fill-ins should Portis' sprained left knee keep the NFL's second-leading rusher out of a game that will be pivotal for Washington's playoff chances.

"At the end of the day, if Clinton can't go," Alexander said, "I'll be ready."

Coach Jim Zorn is making contingencies based on balky knees. Portis sprained a medial collateral ligament in a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers before the bye, and Betts was limited in yesterday's practice while trying to return from a left knee sprain that has caused him to miss three games. Portis has run for 995 yards, includes 121 in the Week 4 win over Dallas.

"If Clinton can't go, it's going to be a community position," Zorn said.

Seahawks: : Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck returned to practice with the starting offense for first time in six weeks, and he was scheduled to see a team doctor last night to get cleared to start Sunday against the Cardinals. Hasselbeck has been sidelined by a bulging disc, which caused nerve problems that were weakening his hyperextended right knee.

Buccaneers: : Running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams is returning from a career-threatening knee injury that has sidelined him for more than a year. Tampa Bay activated the 2005 Offensive Rookie of the Year from the reserve physically-unable-to-perform list before practice, and he could play this weekend against Minnesota. He has been out since 2007, when he tore the patellar tendon in his right knee.

Bears: : Quarterback Kyle Orton returned to practice in a limited role on his sprained right ankle, but he was optimistic about playing Sunday at Green Bay.

Falcons:: Trying to clear his name and avoid a suspension for a positive doping test, defensive tackle Grady Jackson became at least the second NFL player to file suit against the manufacturer of StarCaps, an over-the-counter weight-loss pill, arguing that a banned substance was not listed as an ingredient.

Steelers: : One day after coach Mike Tomlin hinted he needed his quarterback to practice more despite his right shoulder injury, Ben Roethlisberger took the snaps with the starters.

Vikings: : Cornerback Charles Gordon is in Charlotte, N.C., preparing for surgery on his broken left ankle. Coach Brad Childress said the defensive back and punt returner will need about five months to recover.

Lions: : Quarterback Daunte Culpepper will start for the second straight week, coach Rod Marinelli said. Also, the team cut quarterback Drew Henson.

Bengals: : A Fresno (Calif.) County judge sentenced defensive lineman Jason Shirley to 30 days in a work program after a jury found him guilty of drunken driving and hit and run. The verdict and sentence against Shirley were handed down Monday, said his lawyer, Laura Magill.

Raiders:: Coach Tom Cable confirmed that he has replaced offensive coordinator Greg Knapp as the play-caller.

Chargers: : Running back Michael Bennett signed, hours after being released by Tampa Bay.

Ticket prices:: The average ticket price for playoff games will decrease by about 10 percent from last season, the NFL confirmed, citing economic stress facing fans. The average price of the playoff tickets sold last year for wild-card and divisional rounds and conference championship games was $121.

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