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Redskins Insider: October 26, 2008 - November 1, 2008

Samuels Still Hurting

Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels continued to experience knee pain during practice today and could sit out against Pittsburgh at FedEx Field. "Pretty much, I'm questionable" to play against the Steelers, Samuels said. "I'll go out, warm up and see how I feel, but I don't know. It's kind...

By Emilio Garcia-Ruiz  |  November 1, 2008; 3:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
Tags: Redskins lineman uncertain for Steelers  
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Moss Hopeful of Facing Steelers

From Jason Reid: Top wide receiver Santana Moss, who did not participate in team drills for the fourth straight day, tested his sore hamstring while running under the supervision of trainers today and hopes to play against Pittsburgh. "I feel better today, Moss said. "I ran today. That's a good...

By Emilio Garcia-Ruiz  |  November 1, 2008; 1:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Tags: Top receiver feeling better  
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Halloween Special: 'The Jasons'

Time for another installment in "The Jasons" and still no wacky neighbor. (Would it kill Tarik El-Bashir or Mike Wise to wander through?) It's on Comcast SportsNet's "SportsNite" all weekend....

By Cindy Boren  |  October 31, 2008; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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TCCLs: Special Halloween Edition

Happy Halloween. I'll try not to make these too scary. 100 TCCLs/-22 TCCLs - Carlos Rogers/Carlos Rogers's hands He is having a Pro Bowl season, but without the stats to back it up (let's face it, high interception totals often sway this popularity contest), he might end up short despite...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 31, 2008; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Campbell May End Up in Roethlisberger Territory

With the quarterback market now moving and prices on the rise, I would not be surprised if the deal Ben Roethlisberger got in March (eight years, $36 million guaranteed, max of $102 million) is the measuring stick used by Jason Campbell's camp if/when he gets a new deal. By the...

By Cindy Boren  |  October 31, 2008; 4:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Clark Hopes to Do More Than Watch at FedEx

Former Redskins safety Ryan Clark, a young man whose character and tenacity won over teammates here, was greatly looking forward to facing his old teammates Monday night, though a shoulder injury very well could prevent him from doing so. Clark, one of the Redskins who was closest to safety Sean...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 31, 2008; 3:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
 
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One Young QB, Rodgers, Gets New Deal

As I wrote this morning, the time to start signing young quarterbacks to new deals is upon us. And, what do you know, one of them got an extension through 2014 today. How about that? Green Bay and Chicago have been the most proactive in these matters to this point,...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 31, 2008; 3:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Moss Progresses, Is Game-Time Decision

Jason Reid reports: Although wide receiver Santana Moss (hamstring) sat out practice for the third consecutive day, his injury has improved and he could play Monday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FedEx Field, Coach Jim Zorn said yesterday. "Santana's coming right along," Zorn said. "He got rid of his...

By Cindy Boren  |  October 31, 2008; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (72)
 
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Roll Call for Practice

Barry Svrluga has the early report from practice: Clinton Portis, LaRon Landry and Carlos Rogers have returned to practice. Malcolm Kelly, Shawn Springs, Ladell Betts, and Jason Taylor are sitting it out. Santana Moss is in sweats but has not yet participated....

By Cindy Boren  |  October 31, 2008; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (66)
 
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Blache on Big Game (the Non-Steelers Type)

Dan Steinberg has more on Blachisms. If your computer does not allow you to see the Predictify widgets above, you can go here and make your predictions on the first question or here for the second question. Predicting there has the added benefit of tracking all your predictions, so if...

By Cindy Boren  |  October 31, 2008; 10:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
 
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Hines Ward: Jack Tatum Masquerading as a WR

Teams in the AFC North know all about Steelers WR Hines Ward, and how physical he can be when the ball is not in his hands. He blocks like a demon and regularly delivers punishing hits. Some would argue that those hits are occasionally dirty, or at least borderline, but...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 31, 2008; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
 
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Campbell and the 2009 Free-Agent QB Class

The race to sign young starting quarterbacks to contract extensions will begin in earnest by the end of the season, and in some cases perhaps sooner. There is a fine class of emerging passers whose rookie contracts all expire in 2009, including your very own Jason Campbell, and most of...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 31, 2008; 8:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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The Rock Cartwright Special Teams Report

The Steelers are notorious for having a punishing defense and strong, physical special teams. According to our resident special teams guru - running back Rock Cartwright - that is certainly the case this season. "They've got one guy that really stands out, No. 37 [corner Anthony Madison], plays R2 on...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 30, 2008; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
 
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Zorn on Injuries and Rookies

Jim Zorn spent a lot of time talking about injuries and the rookie class after practice today. He said he is enthused by the progress of tackle Chris Samuels and WR Santana Moss and expects both to play, as well as the rest of the walking wounded (with the exception...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 30, 2008; 3:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
 
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Final Post on Big Ben, Promise

Wanted to follow up on this one last time, because I really do think it could be the key factor in the game. Ben Roethlisberger has the size and ability to overcome a shaky offensive line and win this game with his arm. And the Redskins know it. They have...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 30, 2008; 3:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Predictify the Outcome ... and the Sacks

By Cindy Boren  |  October 30, 2008; 2:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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Cartwright, Kendall Return to Practice

From Barry Svrluga: Rock Cartwright and Pete Kendall have returned to practice. The following players aren't practicing: Kelly Rogers Springs Portis Landry Betts Taylor Moss Jason Taylor was wearing a walking boot inside the complex....

By Cindy Boren  |  October 30, 2008; 1:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Blache: Team 'Couldn't Sack Groceries'

Defensive coordinator Greg Blache delivered a few verbal beauties during his press conference (he's the best quote in the building), and continually talked up the importance of Monday's game, and how huge it would be to enter the bye at 7-2. "This is the biggest game we've played since I've...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 30, 2008; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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The Roethlisberger Factor

We talked about the Pittsburgh pass rush earlier today, and I think that sacks - or lack thereof -will big a major factor Monday night. The Redskins have just 10 sacks, and no one with more than two sacks through a half season. The ends aren't threatening the passer for...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 30, 2008; 12:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
 
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An Unrestricted Look at Injuries

Jason Reid talks about the impact of injuries on the team. ... Yap Time Thursday is chat day for Jason La Canfora, who'll be available at 1. Gene Wang brings the fantasy fubball jibba-jabba at noon. ... I know this links to a baseball blog (shudder), but I thought you...

By Cindy Boren  |  October 30, 2008; 10:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
 
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'A' Game Needed for Pittsburgh's D

Studying the Steelers' defense will occupy a lot of the Redskins' time this week. Pittsburgh is ranked first in the NFL, is brutish against the run seemingly by nature, and is also leading the league in sacks. It's a lot for any team to handle, and the Redskins will need...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 30, 2008; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
 
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Master Impressionist Jason Campbell

We all know that Jason Campbell has added a lot to his game and is having a breakout season. But this week he took it to another level, going public with his Pete Kendall impersonation. Kendall, the gregarious starting guard with a gruff New England accent, would seem like a...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 30, 2008; 8:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Mason Joins Jets

Marcus Mason, former Redskin preseason sensation and Georgetown Prep grad, was signed off the Baltimore Ravens practice squad yesterday by the New York Jets. Mason, who drove from Baltimore to Long Island yesterday, has joined the Jets as their third-string running back and expects to be active for his first...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 29, 2008; 4:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
Tags: Former Redskin, Raven heads north  
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Samuels Progresses; Portis Top October Player

Coach Jim Zorn said he was very enthused by how well Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels got through practice today, and expects him to start Monday despite his knee ailment, while receiver Santana Moss sat out practice with a mild hamstring strain but is expected to play, too. Kick...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 29, 2008; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (97)
 
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Randle El Faces His Old Friends

This is a big week for wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, who will be facing the team he entered the league with - Pittsburgh - for the first time since leaving there as a free agent in 2005. Randle El won a Super Bowl with the Steelers and remains close...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 29, 2008; 2:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (99)
 
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Skins Take Advantage of Extra Day

From Jason La Canfora, via Barry Svrluga, to me: It's a rare Wednesday when they're not in pads, but the Redskins are banged up and have an extra day to prepare. The following guys aren't practicing: Malcolm Kelly Carlos Rogers Shawn Springs Clinton Portis LaRon Landry Rock Cartwight Ladell Betts...

By Cindy Boren  |  October 29, 2008; 1:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
 
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Betts' Return Still a Few Weeks Away

Ladell Betts continues rehab on his knee, aiming for a return after the bye, but has yet been able to do much beyond a little weight training. Betts sprained his knee in a loss to the Rams, with MRIs revealing he would be out about a month. Betts began aiming...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 29, 2008; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Cooley's a Lead Blocker Again

Jason La Canfora reports: One of the surprises of the past few weeks to me has been how much Chris Cooley has been used as a lead blocker. He's back in an H-back role and being used out of the backfield to open holes for Clinton Portis more than ever...

By Cindy Boren  |  October 29, 2008; 12:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Moss Named NFC Special-Teams Player of Week

Wide receiver Santana Moss was named the NFC special teams player of the week for his performance in Sunday's 25-17 victory over the Detroit Lions. Moss returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown -- his only punt return in the game and second this season -- in the fourth...

By Cindy Boren  |  October 29, 2008; 11:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Campbell Grilled by Local Journalist

I figure it's only a matter of time until Taylor Dehaven is doing the Redskins Insider....

By Cindy Boren  |  October 29, 2008; 11:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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Take Two: Skins' First-Half MVP

Jason Reid talks about his choice for the first-half MVP. La Canfora weighed in the other day....

By Cindy Boren  |  October 29, 2008; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Campbell Takes Wise to School; C.P. on O.J.

I sent Mike Wise back to grade school Tuesday (face it, you knew that was gonna happen sooner or later) with Jason Campbell. While we're at it, Dan Steinberg talked to Clinton Portis about O.J. Simpson....

By Cindy Boren  |  October 29, 2008; 9:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
 
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An Inside Look at Skins at Halfway Point

I spent some time picking the brain of an NFL executive who has scouted the Redskins several times in the first half of the season, including early in the season and more recently. We chatted in general about the Redskins, some strengths and weaknesses, and general impressions. On offense, this...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 29, 2008; 7:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (124)
 
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Moss Isn't Worried about Overuse

Jason Reid reports: Wide receiver Santana Moss overcame a sore hamstring in leading the Redskins past the Lions. Moss had nine receptions - including a 50-yard touchdown in the third quarter - for 140 yards and also returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Although...

By Cindy Boren  |  October 28, 2008; 12:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (210)
 
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Samuels Plans to Play Monday

Jason Reid reports: Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels plans to play Monday against the Pittsburgh Steelers despite knee pain that caused him to sit out Washington's last game, he said yesterday at Redskins Park. Samuels experienced discomfort in pregame warmups and missed Sunday's 25-17 victory over the Detroit Lions...

By Cindy Boren  |  October 28, 2008; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
 
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Kelly Keeps a Positive Attitude

Jason Reid reports: Rookie wide receiver Malcolm Kelly said he still has hope. Despite his knee problems, Kelly believes he could contribute to the Washington Redskins this season. But Kelly also is a realist and he knows that the Redskins must do what's best for the team. He is running...

By Cindy Boren  |  October 28, 2008; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
 
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Blache and Zorn and Some Further Explainin'

I believe the phrase Greg Blache used to express his dissafisfaction with the way the defense played Sunday was "south end of a northbound skunk." Jason Reid takes a look at Blache and the D. And Dan Steinberg has today's take from Jim Zorn on "The Thing that Happened with...

By Cindy Boren  |  October 28, 2008; 11:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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First-Half Offensive MVP? It's ... Campbell

Wide receiver Santana Moss has been explosive and dynamic. Running back Clinton Portis is the most productive running back in the NFL this season by a staggering margin. But both of those guys already hold the single-season franchise yardage marks at their respective positions. To me, neither would be able...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 28, 2008; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (123)
 
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First-Half Defensive MVP? It's Rogers

Corner Carlos Rogers knows he dropped another easy interception Sunday, and he continues to focus on the issue. Rogers is shutting down star receivers every week and playing at a Pro Bowl level. His lack of interceptions may work against him in that popularity contest, however, and Rogers knows that...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 28, 2008; 9:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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Inside the Numbers: the Redskins' Defense

The Skins' defense ranks sixth overall, fifth against the run and 11th against the pass. They are eighth in points allowed per game. There are some areas of concern, however. The Skins rank 30th in sacks-per-pass-play (they have just 10 total sacks) and 24th in percentage of passes intercepted (too...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 28, 2008; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
 
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Rookie Receivers: Who's Catching On

We have spent considerable time in the first half of the season chronicling the lack of production from the three pass catchers the Redskins took in the second round (trading out of their first-round pick to do so). In fact, the Redskins have received essentially no contributions from the 10-man...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 28, 2008; 8:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
 
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Inside the Numbers: the Redskins' Offense

The Redskins offense is ranked seventh in the NFL - second in the run game, 18th in passing, and, to me, most importantly - 23rd in scoring. That's where the gains have to be made. The Redskins rank 14th in red zone efficiency (14 TDs on 26 trips inside the...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 27, 2008; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (108)
 
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Campbell Unconcerned about Close Games

Jason Reid reports: Despite being 6-2 at the midpoint of their schedule, the Washington Redskins have no victories of more than seven points. But that's not a problem, quarterback Jason Campbell said. "This is not high school and it's not college," he said. "Each and every week, any given team...

By Cindy Boren  |  October 27, 2008; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (140)
 
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Zorn on Fatigue, Injuries and Portis

Coach Jim Zorn described his team as tired, and the players agreed. They have a late bye week, came to camp early and have played a lot of football. Zorn thought it showed in the locker room after the game, when no matter what he tried to yell ("Victory Monday!...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 27, 2008; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
 
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Zorn: Taylor, Springs Out Monday

Defensive end Jason Taylor (calf) and corner Shawn Springs (calf) will miss Monday's game against Pittsburgh, Coach Jim Zorn said, and he expects running back Clinton Portis (hip/ankle) to play. Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels had an MRI on his right knee today and Zorn said that he will...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 27, 2008; 1:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (97)
 
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The Reid and Steinberg Show

Jason Reid deconstructs the 6-2 start; Dan Steinberg finds some "children of the Zorn" and the Suishams (hint: he didn't need Columbo) in Detroit. And, of course, Portis' wardrobe must be revisited....

By Cindy Boren  |  October 27, 2008; 12:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Samuels MRI, Injury Updates

Samuels, the Pro Bowl left tackle, walked in the building a few minutes ago holding his MRI. He was walking at a brisk pace and was in good spirts, and was about to talk to the medical staff. We asked Chris how he was doing on his way in, and...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 27, 2008; 11:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (82)
 
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Monday Morning H-Back

The Detroit Lions are who we thought they were. They are 0-7 with a bullet, brothers and sisters. A performance like Sunday's, against any other operation, and the Skins lose. That Detroit defense is a joke. The Skins could back up to third-and-30 and still pick up first downs when...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 27, 2008; 8:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (148)
 
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Taylor Headed for Hospital Tonight

Steve Yanda reports: Defensive end Jason Taylor said after the game that he planned to go to the hospital Sunday night after the team returned to Washington to have his injured left calf examined. Taylor was scheduled to have the calf drained Monday morning, but he indicated he might not...

By Cindy Boren  |  October 26, 2008; 5:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (165)
 
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It Wasn't Pretty, but Skins are 6-2

The Skins played down to their competition again today, but got away with it. Amazing they produced 250 yards offense to 95 for the Lions in the first half, yet trailed thanks to a ton of penalties and mistakes. They tried like heck to give it away. Jason Campbell was...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 26, 2008; 3:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
 
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Skins Lead after 3

Well, they finally got in the end zone, and Jason Campbell finally looked deep. Against this defense I think you can keep attacking them downfield - there are soft spots all over that Tampa-2 - but Jim Zorn seems to be going conservative again. Devin Thomas is making plays on...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 26, 2008; 3:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (138)
 
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Skins Down by Four at the Half

Weird, weird, weird game. The holding penalties on Jansen hurt, and I question Zorn running just one play before the two-minute warning. I get his philosophy on not putting the other team back on the field, but this is a winless Lions team with a poor offense and defense. I...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 26, 2008; 2:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
 
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What's Going on with Portis? (Updated)

Not sure what's going on with Clinton Portis, who seemed to have a heated exchange with Jim Zorn. Maybe he was upset that we've seen a lot of Shaun Alexander already. Portis has the hip and other ailments, and players and coaches have been going over to him on the...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 26, 2008; 1:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
 
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Skins Trail 7-3 after One

Well, it certainly feels like the Rams game: Inability to finish a drive (pretty horrid sequence of three plays on reaching the Lions' goal line); Turnovers - Pass pro is looking rough and Stephon Heyer is getting exposed some. Campbell was pummeled on that sack and fumble; Bad penalties -...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 26, 2008; 1:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
 
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A Weird Day at Ford Field

This is an odd game-day experience. Ford Field is about 10 percent filled a half-hour before kickoff, and given the location of the stadium, people aren't tailgating. It's not an option here. And the game isn't on TV - it's blacked out locally with so many seats still available -...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 26, 2008; 12:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (117)
 
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Samuels Is a Late Scratch

Tackle Chris Samuels was a late scratch with inflammation in the cartilage in his right knee. He participated in warm-ups but was unable to go. Tackle Stephon Heyer is starting in his place. Safety Chris Horton (ankle) is also out. Mike Green, who has been with the team just a...

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 26, 2008; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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The View from Detroit

Perhaps the prediction of awful weather at Ford Field is keeping fans away...At any rate, the game isn't a sellout and won't be telecast in Detroit today. The scouting report is a little more spot on than the weather report. Inactives are upcoming....

By Cindy Boren  |  October 26, 2008; 11:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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