Season Is Over for Clinton Portis

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 03: Clinton Portis  of the Washington Redskins runs the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles on October 3, 2010 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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The Washington Redskins placed star RB Clinton Portis on Injured Reserve, according to a story appearing on usatoday.com.

Portis missed five games this season after suffering a groin tear. He returned to action against the Tennessee Titans and reaggravated the injury. A MRI scan taken after the game proved negative and Portis as recently as yesterday expressed the hope to play against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday. His injured reserve status ends his season.

Portis rushed for 6,824 yards and 46 touchdowns over seven seasons with Washington. He had 176 receptions for 1,340 yards and three touchdowns. Portis completed three of six passes, all for touchdowns, and holds a 116.0 QB rating.

Counting his years with the Denver Broncos under Mike Shanahan, Portis has a career total 9,923 yards and 75 touchdowns. 

That touchdown total with Denver is something of a sore point. Portis scored a touchdown for every 19 attempts as an edge rusher in the 2002-2003 seasons in Shanahan’s West Coast Offense.  

Joe Gibbs used him as a power back in his muscular version of the Downfield Offense. Portis bulked up for the role. The added weight slowed him down, but suited the offense better. Opposing defenses were little concerned by the Redskins’ passing game, so they loaded eight players in the box to stop Portis.

He found success anyway and powered Washington’s playoff runs in the 2005 and the 2007 seasons. However, his scoring productivity dropped to one score for every 36 attempts.

Impatient fans attributed the drop to Portis rather than to the scheme. They looked with disdain at the trade that brought him here.

Portis agitated for a new contract after his astounding performance in Denver. In Washington, Champ Bailey did not like what he was seeing in new owner Daniel Snyder’s regime and made clear to the Redskins that he would not re-sign with the team. Gibbs, in his new role as team president, offered Bailey and two draft picks to Shanahan for Portis

Observers (like me) felt Denver would have accepted an even swap of players without sweetening the deal with trade picks. Bailey at the time was considered the league’s premier shutdown cornerback who was as much the face of the team as LaVar Arrington.

Portis is receiving the final guaranteed portion of his salary in 2010. His contract status opens the door for Portis and Washington to part ways after the season, though neither side has spoken of that possibility. Portis, Chris Cooley, LaRon Landry and Phillip Daniels are the most prominent faces of the Gibbs II era in Washington. Portis has such an out-sized personality that his departure would signal the end of Gibbs’ influence on the team.

The National Football Post reports that the Redskins signed RB Andre Brown to the roster off of the Denver Broncos practice squad.  

UPDATE: Joseph White of the Associated Press reports that Portis suffered a new injury in the Tennessee game and not the aggravated groin tear as first believed. The injury requires surgery and at least two months of rehabilitation to repair. 

Anthony Brown

About Anthony Brown

Lifelong Redskins fan and blogger about football and life since 2004. Joined MVN's Hog Heaven blog in 2005 and then moved Redskins Hog Heaven to Bolguin Network. Believes that the course of a season is pre-ordained by management decisions made during the offseason. Can occasionally be found on the This Given Sunday blog and he does guest posts.

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