Cincinnati Bengals Working out Portis/Johnson in Preparation for Benson Ban

Matt GrayContributor ISeptember 27, 2011

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 19:  Clinton Portis #26 of the Washington Redskins runs the ball during the game against the Houston Texans at FedExField on September 19, 2010 in Landover, Maryland. The Texans defeated the Redskins in overtime 30-27. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

According to a tweet from expert Jason La Canfora, the Cincinnati Bengals held workouts for running backs Larry Johnson and Clinton Portis earlier today.

Johnson's workout was more widely publicized earlier in the week, and I'm skeptical that he would be a good fit on a team that signed him and told him he was their fourth choice at running back back in 2009.

The other interesting bit of news comes in the form of Clinton Portis.

Portis, a former Washington Redskin, is said to have undertaken a physical with the team, as we continue to await further developments.

Following two seasons at Mile High Stadium, the former second-rounder and nine-year vet spent the next six years in Washington with the Redskins before being let go by Mike Shanahan following the 2010 season.

Portis is a two-time Pro Bowl selection, and has 9,923 career rushing yards to his name. He has arguably cooled off with age in recent years, having not posted a 1,000-yard season since 2008. 

His workout likely comes as a response to the ongoing situation with Cedric Benson that should come to its conclusion in the coming hours.

The Bengals will be hoping that recent lack of success with Portis has renewed his passion for the game, a passion which he cited as being a reason for his team's lack of success in Washington.

The 2011 Bengals, despite their flaws, are a hungry and passionate team on both offense and defense, and with a chance to be the team's bell cow running back, who is to say how Portis will react to that opportunity?

The deal-breaker could well be that Portis will only see three games as the team's starter, but one hopes that if he is signed, it could provide an interesting battle between the two veteran RBs. With a possibility of both sharing the load for the remainder of the 2011 season, to maximize productivity.

It's still very early, and there is a possibility that Benson could escape a ban, but if not, Portis is a solid stop-gap running back for the time being.