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Portis' Redskins career had its highs and lows

Portis' Redskins career had its highs and lows

Clinton Portis started off in Washington in a blaze of glory. His first carry as a Redskin came in the 2004 season opener at FedEx Field and it went for 64 yards and a touchdown. Portis Redskins career and the Joe Gibbs II era was off to a glorious start.His last carry in the NFL was not bathed in much glory. It came in Week 10 of the 2010 season at LP Field in Nashville. Portis had missed the previous five games trying to recover from a groin injury. With 1:29 left in the first half, he took a handoff from Donovan McNabb and gained three yards off of left guard. He got up but he immediately headed to the sidelines. It was apparent that the groin was bothering him again. The Redskins put him on injured reserve soon after that and he was released in March of 2011.According to reports Portistried out for a few NFL teams but he never did sign with one of them. Today heannounced is retirement at a news conference at Redskins Park. Portis wasclearly emotional during parts of a talk that lasted nearly 30 minutes.I think I had a great careeron and off the field, he said. I was truly blessed to play for two greatorganizations.Portis played his first twoyears in the NFL under Mike Shanahan in Denver. When Joe Gibbs, who Portis saidwas one of his favorite people, came to Washington in 2004 one of his firstmoves was to engineer a controversial trade that sent perennial Pro Bowlcornerback Champ Bailey and a second-round pick to the Broncos in exchange forPortis. The knock on Portis was that heskipped practice too much and didnt work hard enough in the offseason. Andmaybe he could have been better. Perhaps some of those 1300-yard seasons couldhave been 1500-yard seasons and the years where he gained 1500 or more couldhave been truly special.The criticism didnt botherhim. The negativity made me a man, said Portis.It is hard to see Portisgetting much more out of his body than he did. He had 2,230 rushing attempts inhis career, including four seasons with 325 or more carries in a five-yearspan. And you cant forget the wearand tear he created while dishing out punishment to blitzing linebackers. Hemay not have been the best overall running back in the business but none werebetter when it came to pass protection. Rarely would a game go by when hewouldnt stonewall someone trying to come in and do harm to his quarterback. Most games, it was more than one.He blocked and played physicalfootball like no one else, said Redskins owner Daniel SnyderHis career numbers were good but what Redskins fans will remember most about him, besides the costumes hewore to press conferences during the 2005 season, are the two season-ending stretches where Portis put the teams on his back and carried them into theplayoffs.The first was in 2005. TheRedskins had lost to the Chargers to fall to 5-6. Everyone knew they had to win out to get into the playoffs. They did it and Portis led the way, gaining over100 yards in five straight games as the Redskins won five straight games. They needed a similar miracle in 2007 and this time the mountain seemed even taller. Sean Taylor, one of Portis best friends on the team, was murdered in his home in Miami in late November.The day before his funeral, they lost to the Bills to fall to 5-7.Portis was not the statistical leader during the four-game winning streak they pulled off in Taylors honorbut he served as the emotional leader. Against Dallas in the season finale hescored on a 23-yard run and lifted up his jersey to reveal a T-shirt honoringTaylor.I cant think of a team that won a Super Bowl that had a better bond than us, on those 2005 and 2007 teamsthat I played on, said Portis.

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Expect Redskins to bring back Trey Quinn next week as Jamison Crowder's status remains unclear

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Expect Redskins to bring back Trey Quinn next week as Jamison Crowder's status remains unclear

The Redskins need help at wide receiver, and while head coach Jay Gruden allowed a potential trade might bolster the group, the return of rookie Trey Quinn might do the same. 

Quinn landed on the injured reserve after the season opener in Arizona when he injured his ankle on a punt return. The IR designation means Quinn must miss eight weeks of action but can return after that period. 

"We’ll get Trey Quinn back here pretty soon," Gruden said Monday on the Redskins Talk podcast. 

Quinn could be back as early as Week 9 against Atlanta, and it sounds like Gruden expects to see him then.

A record setter at SMU and the final pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, Quinn's return could immediately help the Redskins at their inside slot receiver position. Jamison Crowder has missed the last two games for Washington, and reports say he could miss a few more weeks. 

Of the trio of injured Redskins skill players, Chris Thompson, Paul Richardson, and Crowder, Gruden said the slot WR has "probably got the furthest to go" before he can return from injury. Last week, Crowder was spotted in the Redskins practice facility riding a scooter and with a boot on his ankle. 

With Crowder out an elongated period of time, Quinn could step right in. Both on the smaller side and more quick than fast, Quinn is best suited to play the inside receiver position and can also return punts.

Asked if Quinn is a natural fit to fill in for Crowder, Gruden replied, "exactly right."

Fellow rookie receiver Cam Sims also landed on the IR after Week 1, but Gruden did not indicate that he would be brought back on the same timeline as Quinn. 

"We’ll probably just take one of them. Right now I think Trey is probably closer to returning than Cam ."

NFL rules stipulate that the team can bring only two players back from the injured reserve over the course of a season. So if the 'Skins bring back Quinn as soon as he is eligible next week, it makes sense for the organization to wait before using their final retrievable IR slot on another wide receiver.

Gruden's comments make two things clear: The organization sees Quinn back on the 53-man roster ASAP, and Crowder's return seems to be a serious question mark. 

Washington also seems likely to have a roster spot for Quinn next week. Special teams ace Jehu Chesson has already been up and down on the Redskins roster twice, and it would be little surprise if Quinn's return means Chesson gets released. Should that happen, Washington might again try to bring Chesson back to their practice squad. 



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As injuries linger at WR, Jay Gruden believes a trade might help Redskins

As injuries linger at WR, Jay Gruden believes a trade might help Redskins

The Dallas Cowboys traded for Amari Cooper on Monday, and with that, alarms go off around the NFL that it's wheeling and dealing season. The trade deadline hits in one week, and for teams looking to bolster their squad before the second half of the year, it's time to see what areas could improve. 

For Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, the injury situation at wide receiver means that his team could use help at the position. 

"We could probably use one more there if we could," Gruden said Monday on the Redskins Talk podcast. 

Asked if there was one area the team could bolster via trade, the coach explained that if wideouts Jamison Crowder or Paul Richardson could come back from injury right away, the Redskins would have no need to trade for another receiver. Unfortunately for the Redskins, neither injury situation is very clear, and some reports show that Crowder could miss a few more weeks working back from an ankle injury. 

"I think if you look at our team right now with the injuries to Crowder and obviously the uncertainty with Richardson you might want to add another receiver, but I like what [Michael] Floyd’s done coming in here," Gruden said. 

Floyd had one catch for 20 yards in the Redskins win on Sunday over the Cowboys, but he's a physical veteran that has the coach excited. Gruden also complimented what Maurice Harris and Brian Quick have done in the absence of Richardson and Crowder.

While the Cowboys struck first in the receiver trade market, more players remain reportedly available, including Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas and Dolphins WR DeVante Parker. 

Thomas is a five-time Pro Bowler in Denver, but at 30 years old and with some trade value, it makes sense for John Elway to consider his market. The Broncos are 3-4 and have an underperforming offense. 

Parker was a first-round pick in 2015 but has not had a 1,000-yard season in Miami. Making matters more complicated, Parker's agent Jimmy Gould called Dolphins head coach Adam Gase "incompetent" to a host of different media outlets. Parker has only been active twice this season though he contends health is not an issue. 

Gruden remains confident that 2016 first-round pick Josh Doctson will get going, and he is a similar big target as Thomas and Parker. Should Richardson miss significant time, the Redskins would lack a true speed threat.

There's certainly no clear indication that Washington will make a move before the NFL trade deadline, but as things stand now with injuries, there is a need. Remember, too, the Redskins are long on 2019 draft picks with 10 selections in seven rounds.