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Portis Expects to Play Against Dallas

Running back Clinton Portis missed practice for the second consecutive day on Thursday, as he continues to rest a sore shoulder. Portis said he expects to play in Sunday night's game against the Dallas Cowboys, but he remains listed as questionable.

"As far as I know, I am playing unless something changes between now and Sunday," he said.

Portis spent most of Thursday afternoon working with athletic trainers.

"We're working on strengthening it and getting it as strong as we possibly can," Portis said. "Right now there is soreness there, but that could be because I haven't been hit in three or four weeks."

Portis has experienced soreness in his shoulder since returning to action in Monday night's 19-16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. He first hurt his shoulder in mid-August during a preseason game at Cincinnati.

Portis played a limited role in the Vikings game, rushing for 39 yards on 10 carries, plus a 5-yard touchdown run.

Portis said he was not hampered by the shoulder during Monday's game.

"I felt like I could be myself," he said. "Coach [Joe Gibbs] stressed that, too. That was his main concern. He wanted me to go out and play like I play. If I couldn't, then I shouldn't be on the field.

"I told him, 'If I suit up, that's the only way I know how to play.' I don't know how to try to play safe. I can't tell somebody, 'Hey bro, don't run into me on the field.' If I do that, they're going to try to blast me."

If Portis is limited or unable to play against Dallas, then Ladell Betts would likely draw the start. Rock Cartwright and T.J. Duckett could also see action.

Asked if he thinks he could handle a bigger workload this week, Portis replied: "If you call my number, I'm not going to shy away from it. If I'm on the field, then I feel I can handle being in the game.

"I would love to do everything. At the same time, you have to be logical. You have Ladell, Rock and T.J. working hard, day-in and day-out, so I can't just come in and overshadow them. They know the game plan. I know it, too, but they have been out practicing."

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