Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis took his first repetitions in practice Tuesday since missing four games because of a severe groin injury. Portis' return couldn't happen at a better time because his team finished last Sunday's game with only one healthy running back.
Portis' replacement, Ryan Torain, missed Tuesday's practice with the same hamstring injury that forced him out of the Detroit game. Portis ran well against the Eagles before injuring his groin in that game, and that just happens to be the team the Skins will face Nov. 15 on "Monday Night Football."
"I think where he's got to gauge himself is on certain types of cuts," Washington coach Mike Shanahan said Tuesday. "He can go straight ahead and kind of get a good feel. ... I don't know where his groin is at [in terms of his recovery], but you've got to be really careful when ya cut.
"He made a few cuts [Wednesday], which was a good sign. He didn't have any repercussions by it, which is very positive. So this week, hopefully, he can just get some more endurance in, kind of test himself a little bit more and see where he's at on Monday."
I would expect Portis to play against the Eagles. That's the game he's been aiming for during the rehabilitation process. It would be interesting to hear Portis' take on the Donovan McNabb benching since he's never been shy about giving an opinion. Maybe he's waiting to return to the lineup before sounding off on the situation.
There was a lot of talk before Portis got hurt that the Skins were moving him to more of a third down back role, with Ryan Torain taking over as the first and second down back. With Torain banged up a bit, there's no sure sign of how this will turn out, but that seemed to be the plan prior to the injuries. It could be a similar move to what the Bucs are doing with LaGerrette Blount and Carnell Williams. But, we'll need some time to see how this sorts itself out.