I’ll admit is – I’m being self-serving here. He was my first pick, and I have a vested interest in his remaining somewhat profitable for the season. So this is what I’ve heard:
1.) Yahoo: The Associated Press reports Washington Redskins trainer Bubba Tyer was slightly more optimistic that RB Clinton Portis (shoulder), recovering from a partially dislocated shoulder, would play against the Minnesota Vikings in the season opener Monday, Sept. 11. “I think we’ve got a shot to get him back,” Tyer said.
2.) Fanball: Gibbs did not provide an exact timetable for Portis’ return, but as broadcast on the team’s official web site, he said they “hope he’ll be ready for the (season) opener (on September 11).”
3.) PFT: A league source tells us that the shoulder injury suffered by Redskins running back Clinton Portis is identical to the injury recently sustained by Bears running back Cedric Benson.
The question, as the source explained, is the amount of damage done to the shoulder during the time that the shoulder popped out of and back into joint.
Okay, I’ll start here: a dislocated shoulder hurts like hell. I mean, it’s what they used to do in ‘Nam, according to a vet history teacher of mine. So Portis’s timetable is optimistic, I think – I’m guess he’ll be only 50% week one, and will be slowed a few weeks. The kind of injury that keeps a guy off-peak without being out of the game. The worst kind of fantasy injury.
Ladell Betts is the primary backup option here – and we don’t know much on him. Footballoutsiders has him between Samkon Gado and Antowain Smith in ’05, and between Jamal Lewis and Onterrio Smith in ’04. For those not familiar with the DVOA metrics, it’s their per-play value chart. Now granted, the data set is pretty small for him those years as a backup, but it’s not encouraging.
So Betts will guarantee you a starter if Portis doesn’t come back – it’s not going to be a useful one. I wouldn’t use him as anything more than a 3rd RB until Portis returns. Avoid the REdskins backfield in week one.