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No gamble with Betts page 2
Ledell Betts becomes Redskins starting running back for remainder of season

 Redskins linemen say they like blocking for Ladell Betts, who's known for going through--or over--defenders for the last yards.
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Date published: 11/16/2006


Portis broke a bone in his right hand in the first quarter of the Redskins' 27-3 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. The running back had screws inserted on Monday to stabilize the bone, and was originally expected to miss about four weeks.

But his season came to a premature end yesterday. Portis is expected to have surgery on the shoulder he partially dislocated during the Redskins' Aug. 13 preseason game.

"It's something that happens," Portis said. "I think as far as the team, they want me to get healthy, recover and go out and get everything fixed that's wrong. I understand the decision."

The shoulder injury caused Portis to miss the season-opener against the Minnesota Vikings, and it also led Washington to give up next season's third-round draft pick as part of a three-team deal that sent running back T.J. Duckett to the Redskins.

Duckett, who was a goal-line specialist with the Atlanta Falcons, was expected to hold a similar role for the Redskins this year. Instead, the fifth-year pro from Michigan State has played in just two of Washington's nine games, getting a total of seven carries for 40 yards.

With Portis out, Redskins coach Joe Gibbs has said Duckett will receive an increased work load.

"It's not relief. It's not, 'Finally,' or nothing," Duckett said. "It's just that the time has come. It's there, so you have to go out and grab it."


Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell has replaced 36-year-old southpaw Mark Brunell as the team's starting quarterback. Brunell yesterday deflected questions about whether he is considering retiring at season's end, saying he is focused on being the backup.

"If [Campbell] needs help, I'm going to be there for him to offer advice," Brunell said. "That's part of the change."

Cornerback Shawn Springs, who played for Ohio State, says he and right tackle Jon Jansen, who attended Michigan, have made a friendly wager on Saturday's game between the No. 1-ranked Buckeyes and the No. 2-ranked Wolverines.

"I'll probably put an extra-small Baby Gap Ohio State T-shirt on him, so he looks like Mr. Kool-Aid," Springs said.

To reach ADAM HIMMELSBACH: 540/374-5442
Email: ahimmelsbach@freelancestar.com

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Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.; Sunday, 1 p.m. TV: Fox (channels 5, 35) Radio: WGRQ-FM 95.9