Reporting Grant Paulsen
It’s not very often that a play results in a unified cheer during an NFL team’s practice before a week-six game. But Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III did something that resulted in his teammates celebrating on Wednesday.
“I ran out of bounds today at practice and imitated a slide and got a huge cheer from the team,” Griffin told the media on Wednesday. The quarterback was answering questions about the concussion he suffered in Sunday’s home loss to the Atlanta Falcons for the first time since suffering a blow to the upper body that resulted in him being placed in the NFL’s concussion program.
“Practice went good,” Griffin said about returning to the field on Wednesday. “I felt sharp, I felt good, no symptoms of a concussion or anything like that. No dizziness or things of that nature. I felt good.”
Griffin, the NFL’s rookie of the month in September, was leveled by Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon in a collision that occurred why the first-year passer was going to the ground at the end of a scramble on a 3rd-and-3 from the six yard-line. Unlike his decision in Wednesday’s practice, Griffin elected to stay in bounds rather than sprint for the sidelines in Sunday’s game. That decision cost him.
“I should have just got down earlier or thrown the ball away,” Griffin said on Wednesday. “But I learned from it.”
The reigning Heisman Trophy winner and No. 2 overall pick in this past April’s draft has taken a plethora of bone-rattling shots from defenders already this season. A dynamic runner with world-class speed, Griffin has rushed the ball 42 times this season, the most rushing attempts among quarterbacks. Ironically enough, however, Griffin suffered the concussion on a designed passing play in a game that saw him tally just one carry.
Three days removed from having suffered his second concussion in 11 months, Griffin says he feels fine, and that he’s felt like himself since about 15 minutes after Weatherspoon’s hit.
“I felt fine when I left the locker room [after the game],” Griffin said. “I haven’t had any bad symptoms, or any symptoms at all since I left the locker room.”
Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan has stated several times that Washington’s offensive game plan won’t be amended to avoid designed runs by the speedy signal caller. On Monday Shanahan said that he’d expect Griffin to slide a little quicker next time he’s facing a decision of getting out of bounds or fighting with multiple defenders in the area.
“The one thing I learned was I can’t do that to my team, to the fans or to my family because life is more important than the game of football,” Griffin said. “These things that happen to us, getting hurt, getting hit in the head, that effects us down the road. I’ve got to make sure I limit that, that I keep myself safe so that my family and the fans and my teammates aren’t let down.”