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Portis Expects To Play vs. Ravens


The Redskins remain cautious with Clinton Portis's injury status, with head coach Jim Zorn calling him a game time decision for the fourth game in a row.

Portis has a sore neck and is rehabbing several other injuries, including a sprained knee.

For Portis, there's no doubt what he'll be doing on Sunday night when the Redskins play the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

"I'll be playing," he said.

Practice is another matter, though.

Despite Jim Zorn's misgivings, Portis feels he needs the rest during the week just to be physically ready for the next game.

"Football is football," Portis said. "No matter how good the scheme is, I'm still going to be required to do the same thing, and that's find the rushing lane."

Zorn said he does not see any hesitation from Portis on game days.

"That's why I keep playing him," Zorn said. "If I thought he would hold back or go at a slow place, I wouldn't play him. But I see burst and acceleration."

Portis, the NFL's second leading rusher with 1,228 yards, said on Wednesday that he expects another "tough, physical" game against a stout Ravens defense ranked second in the NFL.

For both the Redskins and Ravens, it's a key game in terms of their playoff aspirations.

The Redskins are 7-5 and on the fringes of the NFC playoff race right now. The Ravens are 8-4 and still in the hunt for the AFC North crown or a Wild Card berth.

"Every win you can get at this time of year is critical," Portis said. "For us, we need to win just to change morale and get us back on track."

The Ravens' defense includes two of Portis's friends from the University of Miami, middle linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed.

Portis played with Reed at the University of Miami, but not Lewis.

Portis has great respect for Lewis, who has nine Pro Bowl nods to his credit.

"Ray is a guy who really paved the way for us, who the younger guys look up to," Portis said. "I think he's a great character guy and a hard-nosed football player."

Then Portis added with a smile: "But I'm not scared of him."

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