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Clinton Portis "Expected" To Start Against Eagles, But Ryan Torain Could See More Carries

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan expects Clinton Portis will remain his starting running back when Washington visits the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, per the Redskins’ official Twitter account:

Clinton Portis is expected to start on Sunday vs. #Eagles, per Mike Shanahan. #Redskinsless than a minute ago via web


However, Portis may become more of a third-down specialist as the team looks to feature Ryan Torain more, says Jason LaCanfora of NFL.com:

Continue to hear its likely Clinton Portis assumes more of a 3rd down role for Skins w/Ryan Torain getting more and more carries. That’s …less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

 

Through three games, Portis has 38 carries for just 140 yards, to go with two touchdowns. In contrast, Torain made his Washington debut last week and gained 46 yards in only seven attempts.

Potentially making Portis the third-down back isn’t a huge demotion, though. The Redskins rank last in the NFL in third-down yards per play, as Ryan O’Halloran notes, so the fact that they may count on him to deliver in an area they are weak in demonstrates they still value the nine-year veteran.