All week long the press and the Washington Redskins organization worked hard to make everyone believe that running back Clinton Portis was not going to play against the Dallas Cowboys. The game was at FedEx Field, in front of 90,000-plus white-flag waiving fans (actually, it was probably 75 percent Redskins fans and 25 percent Cowboys fans).
I read as many articles on the game today as I could, and one particular caught my eyes. The writer explains how Portis was the last one to exit the tunnel. Out he came, with the crowd roaring, carrying an American flag. He flew out of the tunnel like a bat out of hell, no signs that he had a strained MCL in his knee that was supposed to keep him sidelined for the game. Heck, it kept him sidelines for the entire week of practice.
On Tuesday of the week, he was 50/50. On Thursday, he was basically inactive, still not practicing, and every Redskins writer basically ensuring that Portis was out for this game. Then, all of the sudden, Portis looks ‘great’ in the pre-game warmups. He’s spinning and twisting and running and jumping. Oh my golly. It was a miracle. Clinton Portis is healed! He’s well again! His knee is fine.
The crowd roars when they see him leaving the tunnel. He is actually going to play, they thought. And on the first drive of the game, he ran for 26 yards, helping the Redskins get an early 7-0 lead. After that, the Cowboys defense kept what looked like a very healthy Clinton Portis in check, and they didn’t see Cowboys territory for the rest of the game.
I am positive the Redskins were a bit dishonest about the condition of Portis. And it is unfortunate the press did very little to shine some truth onto the matter. All we hear is how tough Portis is, how much heart he has, and how much strength he has to play that game.
But really, all it boils down to is a big hoax from one of the biggest jesters in the NFL. Nice one, Redskins. It backfired.