As you’ve probably seen/heard, Redskins RB-slash-improvisational actor supreme Clinton Portis dislocated his left shoulder during last night’s 19-3 exhibition loss to the Bengals while making a tackle after a Mark Brunell INT. Portis says “let’s get rid of some of these games”, and the inspiration for Malcom Jamal-Warner’s character on “Listen Up”, Michael Wilbon, fully agrees. From Monday’s Washington Post.
Portis wasn’t the only casualty for the Redskins, nor the most serious.
Nine minutes after he was injured — the game was still in the first quarter, mind you — linebacker Chris Clemons suffered a sprained MCL.
Doctors immobilized the left knee with a thigh-to-ankle foam cast before Clemons was helped from the field. Before the end of the half rookie running back Kerry Carter was carted from the field so doctors could get a good look at his right leg — and what they found was a torn MCL and a torn ACL, which means Good Night and Good Luck. Season over.
Okay, it’s not news that football players get hurt. And the Portis injury wasn’t nearly as gruesome or as maddening as, say, the blast to the knee of Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer in that playoff game against the Steelers in January that still has Palmer on the sideline.
But it’s worth getting hurt in the playoffs because it’s the playoffs.
For decades, even through the 70’s, when most pro football players made little more than teachers and truck drivers, two-a-day practices and preseason games — it used to be six instead of four — were necessary. Players sold cars in the offseason, insurance, did whatever. Sonny Jurgensen was such a great basketball player did some barnstorming after the NFL season ended.
You know what players do now in the offseason? They get ready for the season. There are minicamps and five weeks of OTAs (organized team activities). Team practice facilities are open year-round. Redskins linebacker Lemar Marshall, for example was there virtually every day.
Nobody’s out of shape. Nobody comes to camp to sweat off 25 pounds anymore.
They’re ready to go in June, much less the middle of August.