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After landing on IR, Portis' future with Redskins is now unclear

ASHBURN, Va. -- The season is over for Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis. Now he's left to contemplate where he might play next - and whether he will play again.

Portis was in a reflective mood Tuesday after the Redskins placed him on injured reserve. Doctors have yet to clear him from a concussion he suffered a month ago, and he sounded like a player with a very opened-ended future.

"I think I'll get well," Portis said on his weekly radio appearance on ESPN980. "I have to put the time into rehabbing and continuing to do what the doctors say, but at the same time, to have the opportunity to play for eight years and play and compete and not miss many games ... if it's my time and I look back today, I think I had a great career. No one wants to finish on an injury, but at the same time I enjoyed it and I would love to come back."

Portis was hurt in a helmet-to-helmet hit against Atlanta on Nov. 8 and since struggled with vision problems and dizziness. He spent Monday and Tuesday making a return visit to a specialist in Pittsburgh.

"They told me they weren't going to clear me," Portis said, "and that I needed to go see an optometrist and get my eye better. ... Doc feared if I took another hit like that, it could get worse."

Portis' season ends with a career-low 494 yards rushing on 124 carries and one touchdown. Although only 28, he already has 2,176 carries, third most in the NFL since entering the league in 2002, and was already showing signs of wear and tear before the concussion.

Both the Redskins and Portis' agent gave upbeat assessments Tuesday about the running back's playing prospects. Team executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato issued a statement that said: "Clinton's prognosis is good and we expect him to make a full recovery and return to the Redskins."


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Portis' representative, Drew Rosenhaus, said via Twitter that he's been assured by Portis' doctors of a complete recovery by the 2010 season and that he is "very optimistic" about Portis' future with the Redskins.

But the Redskins are also 3-9, and owner Dan Snyder is expected to make major changes in the offseason.

"Do I think there will be change? I do," Portis said. "And if I'm part of that change would I be sad and devastated? I won't. I think I'm appreciative of everything Mr. Snyder and the Washington Redskins have done for me, the opportunities they gave me.

"I'm 28, man. I'm not going to be devastated: 'Oh, man, football is over.' I enjoyed it. I had fun doing it. I gave everything I had doing it. I did it to the best of my ability. The day that I sit down and I look back on my career I think I will enjoy the highlights. If I get to continue and I'm not in D.C. and I have to play for someone else, I will give it all I got there as well."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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