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Clinton Portis’ health already a problem

So coach Jim Zorn revealed this afternoon that bone spurs in running back Clinton Portis’s ankles have been causing him pain since the preseason.

Um, excuse me?

Portis was limited in practice for the past two days and did not practice today. 

So, folks, that means the star running back by Week 3 is already missing practice because of health issues. Combine that with a first-string right guard that’s out for the season with a triceps tear, and suddenly we see a physical breakdown beginning significantly earlier than expected.

Portis wasn’t made available for comment today. He’ll be listed as questionable for Sunday’s game, but Zorn believes he’ll play.

"I expect Clinton to be out there ripping around," Zorn said.

Zorn, when he was pressed about Portis’s condition yesterday, said: "He has got a couple little spurs that are irritating. No swelling. It’s just hard. He needs to rest them."

That doesn’t sound particularly promising, considering that the season is so young. The bye week isn’t for another month. Any resting Portis does will almost certainly have to take place during practice.

Portis’s health has long been a critical issue because of the offense’s reliance on his production. When he has been hurt, the Redskins’ record reflects it.

They went 5-11 in 2006 after he injured his left shoulder in the preseason and broke his right hand in Week 10. And during Washington’s 2-6 finish last season, Portis battled several injuries, including his knee, back, ribs and ankle.

And keep in mind that Portis racked up 342 carries last season and 325 in 2007. That’s a lot of punishment.

Perhaps this is why the Redskins are carrying four other tailbacks on the roster. 

It seems to me that this is going to require a close eye for the rest of the season.