Portis status for Lions game uncertain

The Broncos may be facing their next opponent without their starting running back, Clinton Portis. Portis was taken out of the Monday night game against the Raiders due to the re-injury of his sternum.

"I was fine, but I fell on my shoulder during the game and it aggravated it," explained Portis. "When the Raiders made their first drive, I had to come off the field for a few minutes and it (my shoulder) got tight. Then I started feeling pain, but early on I was fine."

Portis suffered a sternum injury during the San Diego game and was re-injured Monday against the Raiders. The re-injury affected the surrounding muscles of Portis'chest, which has caused a remote setback for this talented running back. Although Clinton seemed optimistic after the game Monday night, there seems to be an increasing chance of him not participating in the contest against the Detroit Lions.

The Broncos'coaching staff seems to be leaning more toward the conservative side in regard to Portis, showing little hope he will be on the field this Sunday.

"It's never a good sign when a player misses practice two days in a row," said Mike Shanahan. But, if you were to ask many of the Bronco players, including Portis, you may get a different answer.

"I think my chances are good," said Portis. "Hopefully I will be able to play. I wouldn't want to miss a game for anything, but today is only Thursday. I know I need to be ready for Sunday: that is my goal."

Rod Smith is focused on beating the Lions and expects to see Portis out on the field Sunday.

"We need him," said Rod. "I expect him (Portis) to play. I am sure he is doing whatever he can to heal, but this is a sixteen round fight and we need him to fight with us this weekend if he can. We want what he can give us. If he can't play, we will have to go to someone else; but I expect him to play."

That "someone else" would be Mike Anderson. Anderson twisted his knee during the fourth quarter against the Raiders, but suffered no ligament damage and is ready to take-on the Lions. "I am ready to take on whatever I have to," said Anderson.

Although Anderson is ready to fill-in for Portis if necessary, Portis intends to remain adamant in preparing to start and finish the game this Sunday.

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