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News & Notes: Springs Still Questionable

The decision to play injured cornerback Shawn Springs in Saturday's Wild Card playoff game will likely go "down to the wire," assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams said.

Springs sat out practice on Thursday to rest his strained groin injury. He remains listed as questionable for the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"We'll work him out, just because he's a vet who has been in a lot of big games before," Williams said. "We've tried to rest him as much as we can, but we feel good about the guys that have practiced all week long. If we can get him, that's a bonus."

Springs concurred that he would likely be a game time decision.

"It's a short week," Springs said. "I strained it last week and that was the first game I wasn't able to finish. We have enough depth and enough quality players that I don't want to do anything that would hurt the team. We have guys like Walt [Harris] and Carlos [Rogers] who are very capable and are doing a great job."

Rogers is returning from a biceps injury that forced him to the sidelines the last three games. If Springs is unable to play, Walt Harris would likely move into the lineup, with Ade Jimoh serving as the third cornerback.

"I'm definitely ready," Rogers said on Thursday. "I have all my motion back [in the biceps] and I'm trying to build all my strength back into it. I'll be ready."

Rogers is one of nearly 30 Redskins who will make their playoff debut on Saturday. The rookie out of Auburn is approaching the game like any other, but admits he doesn't know what to expect in an NFL playoff atmosphere.

"I'll wait and see," Rogers said. "The way I look at it, it's just another game. People keep telling me, 'It's so different.' To me, I'm still playing Cover 2, I'm, still playing man-to-man, I'm still playing zone blitz. In the playoffs, everyone says you have to step it up another notch, so I'm ready to do that for whatever happens."

Whether Springs plays or not, the veteran cornerback sees a game where two proud defenses will look to rebound from the 36-35 shootout between the Redskins and Bucs in Week 10.

"We weren't completely healthy on our side of the ball last time," Springs said, referring to the absence of defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin and safety Sean Taylor in the game. "But whenever you go up against a defense as good as Tampa's, the personal challenge for us, is 'Hey we want to be better than them on this day.'"

-- PORTIS'S LATEST

For those wondering whether Clinton Portis would continue to wear costumes in the postseason, here's you answer: Clinton Portis called himself "Coach Janky Spanky" and came out wearing a plastic coaching headset with enlarged ears, a white cap worn backwards, tight black shorts and an enlarged belly supported by padding.

It wasn't so much a costume as it was an act that drew probably the most laughter of any Portis press conference this season.

Portis poked fun at Gregg Williams' recent signing of a three-year contract extension with the team. Portis came jogging out from the locker room and said, "Let's go boys. Here's our playbook. I tried out for that Redskins job and I'm telling you, that Gregg Williams has nothing on me."

The funniest moment? When asked about Joe Gibbs' recent comment that if Portis were team president he would probably have the team practicing in underwear, Portis replied: "Most likely. That way--no contact. Most men aren't going to be touching each other in their underwear. You won't get a horse collar tackle. You might get a wedgie, but that's about it."

Portis tried to get Gregg Williams to join him in his press conference, but Williams laughed and said, "No way. No way"

"I figured he would be trying to make fun of me somehow," Williams said.

-- BUT SERIOUSLY, PORTIS

Clinton Portis said that he tries to run out of the tunnel side-by-side with teammates Sean Taylor and Santana Moss for every game.

The three attended the University of Miami together and are close friends.

"After every play and walking on and off the field, we always greet each other and talk to each other," Portis said. "When [Santana and I] step on the field, Sean Taylor puts it on us. When [Taylor] steps on the field, we tell him that he has to make a play. Just coming from 'The U' and knowing the capabilities and character of those guys, you really don't want to let them down.

"Once we start playing, other guys see how we play for each other and depend on each other, and it spreads throughout the locker room. Having the fun that we've had from being [together] in college, guys want that fun on the professional level. I think it's growing throughout our locker room."

-- ROGERS, WILLIAMS REDUX

Carlos Rogers and Carnell "Cadillac" Williams, roommates at Auburn at this time last year, have spoken once this week, according to Rogers.

The Redskins' cornerback called Williams to congratulate him on being named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Any trash talking between close friends?

"We don't talk too much trash before the game or at game time, but after the game we do," Rogers said. "Last game, he talked a little bit because they won, but he didn't rush for a lot of yards in the game, so he didn't have much to brag on."

Williams rushed for 20 yards on 10 carries in the first Redskins-Bucs matchup in Week 10. He finished the season with 1,178 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 290 carries. He also caught 20 passes for 81 yards.

"He's running a lot stronger now," Rogers said. "In the first game, he had some injuries that held him back."

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