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News & Notes: Portis Willing...If Called Upon

Walking off the practice field on Tuesday morning, Clinton Portis was asked if he was going to play in this Saturday's preseason game against the Buffalo Bills.

"Ouch, I just twisted my ankle!" Portis said with a mischievous laugh.

Interpretation: Portis does not want to play.

Fake injury aside, does Portis want to play in a game at all during the preseason?

"I don't feel the need, but if coaches want to see me [play in a game], I'm all for it," he said.

After suffering a shoulder injury in August 2006, Portis has not been shy about his preference to not play in preseason games.

He did not play in the Redskins' 30-16 win over the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday in the Hall of Fame Game. It was the first of five preseason games for the Redskins.

Jim Zorn has said that he wants Portis to get some playing time--albeit on a limited basis--in preseason.

Portis was asked if his in-season conditioning is affected when he has limited action in preseason.

"I'll probably get tired the same time as everyone else," Portis replied. "Until you go out and play a whole game, you might have a [baseline] to recover quickly. Coming out of halftime, you might be super fresh or it might take you a minute into the third quarter.

"But at the same time, I need to be well conditioned and prepared to play a whole game when they call my number. So what I have to do is try to show coaches everything I can when we're in practice.

"I can do extra running out here, just for conditioning, but it's hard to simulate games."


Devin Thomas is on schedule to return to practice this week, but on Tuesday he still spent time working with athletic trainers on the field.

Thomas has been sidelined with a hamstring injury.

"The plan is for me to get revved up this week," he said. "Maybe not play this week, but be ready for the next game."

Jim Zorn said that both Thomas and Malcolm Kelly, who had arthroscopic knee surgery on Monday, may not have been physically prepared for the intensity of his training camp.

Zorn said that both Thomas and Kelly did not pass the team's conditioning test prior to camp. (The conditioning test is basically a series of timed running tests.)

"I really think they'll have to reevaluate their off-season [workout] program as young rookies," Zorn said.

Kelly remained in Florida after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on Monday. He is expected to return to Redskins Park later this week.

Zorn admitted that a two-week return to action for Kelly may be a little ambitious.


Todd Wade has been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain and he is sidelined for at least two weeks, head coach Jim Zorn said.

"That injury is not easy to heal and needs time," Zorn said.

Stephon Heyer has been diagnosed with a strained knee ligament and he could be out of action for two weeks. No surgery is needed, Zorn said.

Wade and Heyer suffered their injuries in the second half of Sunday's game against the Colts.

Rookie Chad Rinehart is expected to get more reps at tackle in preseason games with Wade and Heyer sidelined.

In other injury news, Chris Wilson (calf), Anthony Mix (hamstring) and Laell Betts (thigh) returned to practice.

LaRon Landry remained sidelined but is expected to increase his practice workload later this week.


The release of Stuart Schweigert on Monday came as a mild surprise. Coaches had indicated that Reed Doughty was the starter opposite LaRon Landry, and even suggested that Schweigert was fighting for a roster spot.

Turns out that Schweigert did not adjust quickly enough to the Redskins' style of defense.

"We are light at safety, but we are still looking for a guy to move in there," Jim Zorn said. "Because he is a veteran and did not show signs of being able to adjust quickly, we moved him on."

The emergence of seventh-round draft pick Chris Horton, who had two sacks in Sunday's game against Indianapolis, may also have played a part in his release.

Jim Zorn said that team officials will continue to monitor the waiver wire to add depth to the safety position if necessary.


Colt Brennan has hosted media sessions at the training camp podium twice in the last five days. That's two more times than Jason Campbell.

Time to get excited about Brennan, who was 9-of-10 for 123 yards and two touchdowns in last Sunday's 30-16 preseason win over the Colts?

Not so fast, Jim Zorn said.

"He was very accurate throwing the ball, but his decision-making was average," Zorn said. "Even on the big play he made throwing to Jason Goode, that was not a great decision but a very fortunate completion. The decisions he made to throw to the corner route and the scramble play he made to throw a touchdown to Marcus Mason were awesome.

"It's a mixed bah, and when he sees the video and makes those corrections, he will continue to improve through training camp and into the season."


Rookie Durant Brooks took all of the punts in the Indianapolis game last Sunday. He had four punts for a 46-yard average and served as a holder on field goals.

On Saturday, when the Redskins take on the Buffalo Bills at FedExField, Derrick Frost is expected to get a turn as he continues his training camp competition with Brooks.

"The punter situation is where the most even competition is," Jim Zorn said. "Derrick Frost will punt this weekend. I fully expect for there to be a difficult decision at the end of this because they are both competing very well."

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