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News & Notes: For Redskins, Turnovers Needed For Turnaround

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Interceptions and fumble recoveries have been in short supply for the Redskins' defense this year.

Through 13 games, they have posted 12 interceptions, tied for 11th in the league, and four fumble recoveries, tied for worst.

For the Redskins to make a playoff push this season, they must start to force more turnovers, defensive coordinator Greg Blache said.

It's one reason why DeAngelo Hall is seeing increased playing time at cornerback for the Redskins. Hall produced two interceptions and a fumble recovery in his first four games as a Redskin.

Blache pointed to the Redskins' last two playoff seasons as examples of how much turnovers can impact a season.

Last year, the Redskins produced five interceptions and two forced fumbles in their four-game winning streak that resulted in a Wild Card playoff berth.

In 2005, the Redskins had eight interceptions and nine forced fumbles in their five-game winning streak in December. That also resulted in a Wild Card playoff berth.

"Each year when we've made our run in December, we've done it with a lot of turnovers," Blache said. "In order for us to [make another run in December], that's what we are going to have to do again."

In Sunday night's 24-10 loss to Baltimore, the Ravens capitalized on a pair of turnovers in the first quarter to jump out to a 14-0 lead.

Jason Campbell's third pass of the game was picked off by Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed, setting up a Ravens touchdown.

Then Clinton Portis fumbled and Reed was there again to scoop up the ball and race 22 yards for another touchdown.

Lesson learned.

In the second half, the Redskins' defense forced two turnovers of their own to try to come back.

LaRon Landry's interception of a Joe Flacco pass set up a Shaun Suisham 43-yard field goal.

Then Landry forced a fumble that was scooped up by Hall. That led to a Redskins touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

"We have to try to create more turnovers, try and help the offense out the way the Ravens did," Carlos Rogers said.

Chris Horton leads the Redskins' defense with three interceptions, followed by Landry and Hall with two each. (Hall has a total of five on the season. He intercepted three other passes when he was with the Oakland Raiders.)

London Fletcher, Rocky McIntosh and Landry each have two forced fumbles this season.

-- PORTIS'S PLAYING TIME

Why was Clinton Portis on the sidelines for the better part of the second half of Sunday's 24-10 loss to the Ravens?

Jim Zorn replied: "What happened was that, as we got down [by 17-0], we wanted to give Ladell [Betts] a series. And as he was running the ball, running routes and blocking, we gave him another series. We felt like he was doing just fine especially because we were going to have to throw the ball more.

"Without Clinton practicing and Ladell practicing all of those protection schemes and route running, we just felt very confident that he could do it. And he did. He played well in what we called him to do."

Portis finished the game with 11 carries for 32 yards and three catches for 14 yards.

Betts had six carries for just three yards, but he did catch three passes for 57 yards. He caught two screen passes for 30 yards on the Redskins' only touchdown drive of the game.

Zorn said that the rest would help Portis, who has battled through a myriad of injuries this season.

"We've got to keep Clinton going," Zorn said. "Even though he sat on the bench and was frustrated, he's going to be far healthier and be able to practice this week, which is going to help us down this run."

-- GOLSTON EXPECTED BACK

Kedric Golston is expected to return to action this week after missing the last two games with bone spurs in his foot.

Anthony Montgomery started for Golston both games and was solid, recording 10 tackles and a sack.

Marcus Washington remains in "wait and see" mode as he returns from a high ankle sprain, Jim Zorn said.

Washington has missed the last three games due to the ankle injury.

Shawn Springs sat out the Ravens game as well. He has been slowed by a calf injury most of this season.

"We have to continue to strengthen his calf muscle," Zorn said.

-- HORTON IS 'DAY TO DAY'

Chris Horton suffered a shoulder stinger in Sunday's game against the Ravens.

He underwent an MRI on Monday and the exam revealed no labrum tear or any significant damage to the shoulder.

Horton's status is day to day and his status for practice this week is uncertain.

In Sunday's game, Horton was replaced by veteran Mike Green, who had seven tackles.

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