Running back Clinton was coy about his status all week long heading into Monday's season opener against the Minnesota Vikings.
The fifth-year back finally entered the game midway through the first quarter and had a 1-yard run on his first play from scrimmage. He caught a 3-yard pass from Mark Brunell on his second play.
In the second quarter, Portis helped give the Redskins the lead when he raced around left end into the corner of the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown run. The Redskins would go on to lose the game 19-16, as John Hall's potential game-tying field goal was wide left.
Portis finished the game with 39 rushing yards on 10 carries. He also caught 2 passes for 11 yards.
Portis was listed as probable entering the game. He had overcome a shoulder surgery suffered during the Redskins' first preseason game on Aug. 13. His status was uncertain until post-practice on Saturday, when head coach Joe Gibbs said he expected Portis to play.
Portis said after Monday's game that he expected some soreness in his shoulder this week.
"It's expected, but nothing that should set me back," he said.
Commenting on the loss to the Vikings, Portis said: "Minnesota did a great job in converting third downs and we didn't. We didn't have the opportunity to get in the end zone and grind it out the way we wanted. But we got in the red zone, inside that 10-yard line."
Meantime, as expected, cornerback Shawn Springs sat out the game as he continues to recover from abdominal surgery last month. Springs was listed as doubtful most of last week, until Saturday when it was decided he would not play.
Starting in place of Springs was veteran cornerback Kenny Wright, who earned the confidence of coaches during preseason.
"Kenny did very well this preseason," assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams said. "I think his comfort level with being in several systems has helped him adapt here.
"Because he has played on several different teams, he has had a variety of coaching and teaching. The game is not too big for him. He has bonded very well with [secondary-cornerbacks coach] Jerry Gray."
Backups Mike Rumph and Ade Jimoh were also expected to significant playing time at cornerback.
"We prepared for all the combinations," Williams said. "We have packages that play multiple corners and we change things up on which one is in the ball game."
The Redskins' complete list of inactive was as follows: safety Reed Doughty, Springs, fullback Nehemiah Brougton, offensive linemen Jim Molinaro and Todd Wade and defensive linemen Renaldo Wynn and Anthony Montgomery.