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News & Notes: Portis Leads Way, Plays Through Knee Injury

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As promised, running back Clinton Portis suited up for--and started--Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.

And he stepped up again when the Redskins needed him.

Portis rushed for 143 yards on 29 carries in the game. It was the fifth time this season that Portis has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark.

Portis re-took the NFL rushing lead, moving ahead of Minnesota's Adrian Peterson.

He also surpassed Stephen Davis to move into third place on the Redskins' all-time rushing list.

Early in the Seahawks game, Portis picked up chunks of yards--including a 20-yard gain following a block by Mike Sellers--on the Redskins' first touchdown drive in the second quarter.

On the Redskins' last drive, the offense was backed up at its own 4-yard line. On three consecutive carries, Portis picked up 9, 11 and 20 yards to get the Redskins out of trouble.

Last week, Portis told reporters that he would definitely play on Sunday, despite struggling with a sprained knee.

Head coach Jim Zorn was more cautious, though, and Portis was listed as questionable heading into Sunday's contest.

Portis was able to play through the injury in last week's game against Dallas.

Asked last week if the sprained knee was the toughest injury he has ever dealt with, Portis replied: "I wouldn't say that, because I've had a sternum injury and a shoulder injury. Every injury, when you get it, you think it's the toughest.

"This [knee injury] is something I can fight through."

Portis entered the game as NFL's second-leading rusher with 1,063 yards and seven touchdowns on 215 carries.

The Redskins had four running backs active for Sunday's game: Portis and backups Ladell Betts, former Seahawk Shaun Alexander and Rock Cartwright.

Also, Antwaan Randle El drew the start despite being slowed in practice last week with an ankle injury.

The Redskins' complete list of inactive players was as follows: linebacker Marcus Washington, offensive linemen Jason Fabini and Chad Rinehart, defensive linemen Erasmus James, Anthony Montgomery and Rob Jackson and tight end Fred Davis.

-- BLADES STEPS IN

H.B. Blades saw action at strong-side linebacker in Sunday's game against Seattle, taking the place of Marcus Washington, who was inactive due to an ankle injury.

Blades finished the game with two tackles.

Blades was supposed to start the game, but he was pulled from the field when the Seahawks opened with an extra wide receiver. Shawn Springs started alongside Carlos Rogers and Fred Smoot.

Blades stands at 5-10 and 242 pounds, so the Redskins give up some size at the position with Washington, 6-3 and 244 pounds, out of the lineup.

Defensive coordinator Greg Blache was confident that Blades would step up and play well while Washington rehabs his injury.

"We're not going to bat an eye with H.B. in there," Blache said. "When injuries happen, we don't make a big deal of it, so when it happens we go to the next player.

"What we think H.B. can bring is sameness--doing it in his own form or fashion, but at the end of the day that position will have the same production and that position will not have been a weak link in the chain.

"Is he bigger? No. Is he faster? No. More savvy? No. At the same time, he knows what we're doing enough and he's physical enough and he's smart enough to do a good job for us."

-- ZORN HELPS THE DEFENSE

Given his familiarity with the Seahawks' passing game, Jim Zorn proved to be an asset for the Redskins' defense this week.

Zorn sat in on defensive backs meetings and offered tips about the Seahawks wide receivers.

"He has been fired up," Greg Blache said. "He knows their offense well. He is just giving us things that you can't see on film, just giving us some insight. He has been very, very helpful."

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