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News & Notes: Clemons Placed On IR

The Redskins have placed reserve linebacker Chris Clemons on injured reserve, the team announced on Tuesday. Clemons suffered a sprained knee ligament in last Saturday's 35-20 win over the New York Giants.

The team initially projected Clemons to be sidelined a few weeks, but it was determined that the injury would not be fully healed for about six weeks. The Redskins have one regular-season game to play, this Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. Postseason play remains a possibility, however.

Clemons becomes the eighth Redskins player to be on injured reserve this season.

The third-year linebacker out of Georgia had emerged as a pass-rushing threat this season, coming in on third-down packages. He recorded 10 tackles, two sacks, seven quarterback pressures and one forced fumble this season.

The Redskins have not yet filled the roster spot vacated with Clemons now on injured reserve. The team is expected to sign a player, possibly from the practice squad, on Wednesday.

-- PRACTICE SQUAD MOVE

The Redskins have signed tight end Calen Powell to the team's practice squad and released tight end David Kashetta.

Powell is a rookie out of Duke who had a brief stint on the Seattle Seahawks' practice squad earlier this season. Powell, 6-5 and 256 pounds, played four years for the Blue Devils. In 44 career games (17 starts), he recorded 34 catches for 463 yards and three touchdowns. He is a native of Bellevue, Wash.

-- NO MORE NAIL-BITERS

The Redskins lost three successive games in mid-November--to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers--in which they squandered second-half leads. During their recent four-game win streaks, the team has not only maintained second-half leads, but also built on them.

In last Saturday's game against the New York Giants, the Redskins had a 21-17 lead at halftime. The offense produced two touchdowns in the second half to close out a 35-20 win.

"When we lost three in a row in November, I felt sick," running back Clinton Portis said. "We actually went 2-6 over an eight-game span. Coming off that, it shows the fight of the team and everybody realizing, 'Okay, let's quit playing all of these close games.'

"We've lost five of six games because we let teams stick around. We took it one game at a time and we got our focus right. Now we're able to put teams away."

Portis said the team's confidence is "sky high" right now.

Explained Portis: "It's the motivation--the taste of being this close to the playoffs. After putting our backs against the wall, we've fought our way up out of it and we still control our own destination."

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