ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 08: Clinton Portis #26 of the Washington Redskins rushes upfield against Thomas DeCoud #28 of the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on November 8, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
We would expect nothing else from Clinton Portis, but he's awfully optimistic for a guy whose groin muscle was pulled from the bone against the Eagles.
"I'm gonna be running the ball again this year," Portis said on 106.7 The Fan today. "Now, I can't control what kind of uniform it's in. But I would hope it's in the Redskins' uniform.
"But I got no doubt that I'll recover from this injury and I'll be back out to help my teammates. Unless something miraculous or something crazy happens, knock on wood. But just as far as this groin injury and me coming back to the game of football, I think I'll be fine."
Portis' injury came with a 4-to-6-week bench diagnosis followed by lingering soreness, which probably puts his return at Week 11 against the Titans. But it was clear from questions on The Mike Wise Show that there had been concern Portis would not make it back this year -- meaning, of course, that he might have played his last game in Washington.
Medical science, however, has never met the rivalry between Portis and John Riggins. CP is just 680 yards behind the franchise's all-time leading rusher (and Portis-criticizer), and he says that's major motivation.
"I think that'd be even better [than notching 10,000 yards in a career]," Portis said. "To be the leading rusher in a storied franchise right now, it's exciting, just the chase alone, being that it's been held for so long. You see the love that he still gets for having that record? And I think he's great in the community.
"It's hard to have that kind of tenure with one franchise, where you have an opportunity to break a John Riggins record, you know? When you say, 'John Riggins,' you thinking Super Bowls, toughness, everything that he instilled and everything that he lived for. So, for myself, to even be in that company, you know, one, two or however it pan out, to even be in that company is a great [accomplishment]."
Besting Riggins would be an even greater one, considering how unlikely it is. Barring a major paycut, it's likely Portis won't be back next year -- leaving him with approximately seven games to earn 680 yards against the Titans, Vikings, Giants, Bucs, Cowboys, Jags, and Giants again. He averaged less than 50 in the first four.
It's not an impossible goal, of course, but the injury just made the chase a lot more difficult.