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News & Notes: Portis Starts, Surpasses 1,000 Yards

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Clinton Portis played through a sprained knee on Sunday night, starting against the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField.

Portis had entered Sunday's game listed as questionable after missing practice all last week.

He ended up rushing for 68 yards on 15 carries, a 4.5 yards-per-carry average. He also caught two passes for six yards.

"I had the opportunity to get out and help my teammates, so I needed to be out there," Portis said. "I know [I'll be sore], but I'll worry about that when it gets here."

Head coach Jim Zorn had said that Portis would likely play a limited role if he suited up, but on the Redskins' opening drive, it was evident that Portis would be able to do more.

"I though Clinton did very well," Zorn said after the game. "He was tough. He probably did not have the conditioning he needed because he didn't practice [last week]. Ladell [Betts] spelled him, and we tried to get Shaun [Alexander] in there, too."

On the Redskins' opening drive, Portis made an impact, picking up 16 yards on three carries.

Later, on a 4th-and-1 play at the Cowboys' 11-yard line, Portis took the handoff and bulldozed up the middle behind blocks by Casey Rabach and Pete Kendall to get the first down--and more.

Portis slipped past a tackler and was tripped up by linebacker Zack Thomas at the Cowboys' 2-yard line.

Jason Campbell capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Mike Sellers, giving the Redskins an early 7-0 lead.

Portis reached the 1,000-yard plateau for the season on his first carry of the game, a 5-yard run behind Chris Samuels.

It was the sixth time in seven NFL seasons that Portis has broken the 1,000-yard barrier.

He reached the mark in the Redskins' tenth game, the fastest he has ever reached the mark.

Through 10 games this season, Portis has rushed for 1,063 yards and seven touchdowns on 215 carries. He is averaging 4.9 yards per carry.

Three hours before kickoff on Sunday, Portis was on the field testing his injured knee. He appeared to be able to cut on the knee without any noticeable pain.

Among those watching the warm-ups were head coach Jim Zorn, assistant head coach-running backs Stump Mitchell, director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer, head athletic trainer John Burrell and physical therapist Larry Hess.

They appeared to be taking particular note of Portis's ability to block pass-rushers on the injured knee.

After the workout, Portis huddled with team officials on the sidelines to discuss his availability. Television cameras filmed the meeting, but they were quickly ushered away to keep the secrecy of Portis's status intact.

About 90 minutes before kickoff, word filtered in that Portis would be available to play.

"It truly was a game time decision," Zorn said. "It came down to the workout before anyone was even in the stadium. I saw a guy who could make the cuts he needed to. That was the deciding factor."

Said Portis: "I had to come back and warm up before everybody got here, and I felt good. The pain--well, once you get adrenaline and all that going, you block out the pain."

Portis may have played more than Zorn had anticipated.

In the second half, Betts appeared to re-aggravate his sprained knee. He was seen hobbling on the sidelines and did not return to the game.

Betts, who missed the last three games due to the injury, had one carry for one yard rushing in the game.

-- SPRINGS AMONG INACTIVES

Shawn Springs is sidelined for his fourth consecutive game as he continues to rehab a calf injury.

Springs worked out on the field prior to Sunday's game against Dallas. It was determined that Springs would not be able to play.

Springs was limited in practice last week and listed as questionable heading into the game.

Carlos Rogers and Fred Smoot drew the start at cornerback for the Redskins. Newcomer DeAngelo Hall saw playing time as well and recorded an interception in the first quarter.

Also on defense, Demetric Evans drew the start ahead of Jason Taylor.

Taylor is still working his way back into the lineup after missing the Nov. 3 game against Pittsburgh with a calf injury.

The Redskins' complete list of was as follows: wide receiver Malcolm Kelly, Springs, offensive lineman Jason Fabini and Chad Rinehart and defensive linemen Erasmus James, Anthony Montgomgery and Rob Jackson.

Montgomery is sidelined due to an Achilles injury. He was listed as out heading into the game.

-- CARTWRIGHT MOVES UP

Rock Cartwright has moved into third place on the Redskins' all-time kickoff return list.

Cartwright entered Sunday night's game against Dallas with 156 career kickoff returns, passing Redskins great Dick James.

Cartwright, in his seventh NFL Season, has 3,792 kickoff return yards for his career, fourth most in Redskins history.

Brian Mitchell remains the Redskins' all-time leader in kickoff returns, with 421 kick returns for 9,586 yards.

-- WASHINGTON HAS ANKLE INJURY

Marcus Washington suffered a sprained ankle in the first half of Sunday's game against Dallas.

He was carted into the locker room and underwent X-rays. The results were negative.

Washington was replaced in the lineup by H.B. Blades.

Washington had entered the game with a shoulder injury that limited him in practice last week.

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