Portis' confident of return to action

Clinton Portis sat on the sidelines for the Lions game and half of the Raiders game due to a bruised sternum, but it appears his time off allowed him to recuperate as hoped. And it's a good thing as a huge game with the Kansas City Chiefs looms on Sunday.

Clinton Portis sat on the sidelines for the Lions game and half of the Raiders game due to a bruised sternum, but it appears his time off allowed him to recuperate as hoped. Portis returned to practice Wednesday, October 1, 2003, and announced Thursday that he is determined to play this weekend against the Kansas City Chiefs. Although Portis is still somewhat sore, he intends to execute Sunday with full effort and ability.

"There is nothing you can do," said Portis in explaining his outlook for returning to the field. "I don't think I am going to go out there (on game day) and take any safety measures. I am not going to go out there and play with twenty more pounds of pads on. I am just going to go out there and play."

The Broncos recognize the importance of Portis' presence in the face-off with the Chiefs, especially after the inefficiency of the running game last week against the Lions.

Although the running game struggled without Portis, many think it is merely a matter of time before the Broncos are seen as a major threat at all levels of depth in the running back position. The Broncos already possess aptitude and depth in their running back position with back-ups Quentin Griffin and versatile Mike Anderson; but fourth round draft pick Quentin Griffin has yet to jumpstart his career. Griffin has only average 2.4 yards-per-carry thus far this season, but the Broncos believe it would be unrealistic to expect perfection from rookie Griffin at this time in his career.

"I think he did step up," said wide receiver Ashley Lelie. "He made a couple plays and a few mistakes, but it is his first real game. I think he made a couple big plays on the last drive (against Detroit). It will be a matter of time. When Clinton Portis jumped into his first or second game, I think he had three fumbles. He is just going to have to get some playing time to develop that confidence."

Although the future is undecided for Quentin Griffin, having Portis back as a threat is predicted to play a prominent role in the Broncos' fate this Sunday in Kansas City.

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