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Torain to be the new lead back for the Redskins?

Hot off the Twitter presses comes this tweet from’s Jason La Canfora:

Continue to hear its likely Clinton Portis assumes more of a 3rd down role for Skins w/Ryan Torain getting more and more carries…

Now La Canfora was quick to reiterate that Portis still appears to be the starting running back for the Redskins – which Mike Shanahan later confirmed – but La Canfora did indicate that he believes a transition to Torain becoming the feature back has already began. Also, for what it’s worth, ESPN’s fantasy guru Matthew Berry mentioned that a friend of his, who is close to the Redskins, said this to say:

“I am hearing rumblings that the coaching staff thinks Portis will no longer be an effective runner.”

While I think a lot of this may be overreaction to the coaches trying to give Torain some playing time and reducing the wear and tear on Portis, as the old saying goes: “where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.” In his first action all season, Ryan Torain ripped off a 36 yard run (set up by some key blocking downfield). Portis has had one run, total, over 35 yards since mid-November of 2006 (not surprisingly, the Redskins rank dead last in this category).

Given that the Redskins are in the bottom five in the league in rushing yards and yards per game, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the coaching staff would look to a guy like Torain – whom Shanahan originally drafted in Denver – for any kind of a spark.

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