Running back Clinton Portis sat out Sunday night's 27-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Portis, who has experienced soreness in his shoulder following last week's game against the Minnesota Vikings, was among the Redskins' inactive players.
Ladell Betts and T.J. Duckett shared the workload at running back, compiling 93 yards on the ground. Betts was the primary ball-carrier, rushing 11 times for 40 yards. Duckett, playing in his first game as a Redskin, rushed for 24 yards on five carries.
Last week against Minnesota, Betts drew the start and had eight rushes for 22 yards. Duckett did not see any action at running back, however.
That changed on Sunday night.
"Our hope is to get T.J. to play more," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "We watch him out at practice and he is somebody that could really help our football. I would like to give him an opportunity to help us."
As for Portis, he continues to recover from a shoulder injury suffered on Aug. 13 in the Redskins' preseason opener. He came back to play in last Monday's season opener against the Vikings and he rushed for 39 yards on 10 carries, including a 5-yard touchdown run.
Portis experienced soreness following the Vikings game and he missed practice all last week. With the Redskins playing on a hard turf at Texas Stadium, the decision was made by Gibbs to hold him out.
Portis had hoped to play against the Cowboys, but he also understands that the team needs him healthy for the long term.
"I am taking it easy now so I don't have to deal with it all season," he said. "Then we can get it as strong as possible before a key stretch starts. We are trying to attack the problem early, build up strength and get it back. We want it where I am not sore for two or three days after a game."
Meantime, Shawn Springs was also inactive for Sunday's game, as expected. Gibbs had downgraded Springs from doubtful to out last Friday. The veteran cornerback continues to recuperate from abdominal surgery last month.
Springs was replaced in the starting lineup by Kenny Wright.
The Redskins' complete list of inactive players for the game was as follows: Portis, Springs, offensive linemen Jim Molinaro and Todd Wade, safety Curry Burns and defensive tackles Ryan Boschetti and Anthony Montgomery.
-- 'SENSE OF URGENCY'
It's Week 2, so it seemed a bit early to be calling Sunday night's game against the Dallas Cowboys a must-win. But falling to 0-2 was not something that the Redskins wanted to face early in the season.
The phrase "sense of urgency" was mentioned at Redskins Park last week--and following Sunday's 27-10 loss to Dallas, it will be again next week heading into the Week 2 matchup against the Houston Texans.
That's the approach that Santana Moss took going into the game.
"Urgency is going to be there because we are eager to get something out of this," Moss said. "We don't want to sit here and dwell on the fact that we have not done what everyone wants to see. Being on the outside looking in, you want to see something happen. You want to see this product that everyone is talking about work. That is how we are as players, too.
"When we are out at practice, we say, 'Man, we look good' and 'Man, we are doing some things.' When you look at the games, we are doing some good things. We just have to put it all together."