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Tupa Injures Back, Misses Bengals Game

Punter Tom Tupa suffered back spasms during pre-game warm-ups and he did not play in Friday night's preseason game. Tupa was replaced by backup Andy Groom in the game.

Tupa appeared to land awkwardly on his feet during a punt in warm-ups, resulting in the back spasms, head coach Joe Gibbs said.

"We decided to hold him out," Gibbs said.

Losing Tupa for any stretch of time would be a substantial loss for the Redskins. The 19-year veteran averaged 44.1 yards per punt last season, ranking him third in the NFL. He was first in the NFC in gross average, at 44.1.

Groom performed well in place of Tupa, punting five times for a 44.8-yard average. He had a long of 56 yards and he placed two punts inside the 20.

Running back Clinton Portis also sat out the game due to a sore elbow. It's an injury that Portis aggravated late last week and sitting him was more of a precautionary measure, Gibbs said.

"It's something that we evaluated as the week went on," Gibbs said. "The elbow will always get hit. It's nothing serious, but it started to bother him. We worked him out pretty hard and decided that it was the best decision not to play him."

Portis was replaced in the starting lineup by Ladell Betts. The fourth-year running back rushed for 30 yards on six carries. Rock Cartwright had six carries for 44 yards and rookie draft pick Nehemiah Broughton had seven carries for 23 yards.

Declared inactive prior to the game were the following players: safety Matt Bowen, defensive tackle Brandon Noble, cornerbacks Artrell Hawkins and Walt Harris, safeties Matt Bowen, Ryan Clark and Tony Dixon, linebacker LaVar Arrington, wide receiver Taylor Jacobs and offensive lineman Mark Wilson.

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