LANDOVER, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — Whether Robert Griffin III will be available for the Washington Redskins in Week 1 will not be determined until after the teams final preseason contest in Tampa.
Mike Shanahan says he spoke with Dr. James Andrew prior to kickoff Monday night and that the surgeon “feels great” about Griffin’s progress. And that’s music to the quarterback’s ears.
Conversely, and most assuredly to Griffin’s dismay, Andrews also doesn’t feel like Griffin should play in the preseason.
However, the light is definitely at the end of the tunnel for Griffin who underwent reconstructive knee surgery seven months ago.
“He feels very good about where is is at this time,” Shanahan said of Andrews. “If there are no setbacks, he thinks he’ll be ready.”
Which brings us back to present where once again, Griffin was all dressed up with nowhere to play on Monday.
A few yards away, three men who will ultimately decide when he can get in a game were chatting on the sideline.
Redskins owner Dan Snyder, general manager Bruce Allen and Dr. Andrews gathered near the 50-yard line less than an hour before Monday night’s preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Andrews is a team physician who routinely attends the team’s home games, and this was the first one since Griffin’s right knee bent the wrong way in a playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks in January. Andrews reconstructed Griffin’s knee a few days later, and Griffin’s remarkably quick recovery has led to differences between the quarterback and coach Mike Shanahan over his participation in practice and preseason games.
Andrews cleared Griffin for practice shortly before the start of training camp in late July, but Shanahan said the doctor recommended Griffin not practice at full speed nor play in the preseason. Griffin, who says he’s close to 100 percent, has publicly lobbied to do both, saying he disagrees with and doesn’t fully understand Shanahan’s practice plan.
Griffin was kept out of 11-on-11 drills at training camp until last week, when he began running such plays against a scout team defense. Backup Kirk Cousins has continued to work regularly with the first team throughout the preseason.
Griffin raised eyebrows when he dressed in his full uniform before the preseason opener at Tennessee on Aug. 8, even though he knew he wasn’t going to play. He said he did it because he wanted to go through the pregame routine as if he were the starter.
He did the same Monday night, wearing a bulky black brace on his right knee and throwing to receiver Santana Moss while warming up with the other quarterbacks.
During an earlier workout on the field, Griffin wore a white T-shirt with the words “OPERATION PATIENCE” in burgundy. Griffin has said that was his theme throughout training camp. At one point, he went to the sideline and gave Snyder a hug.
Griffin also served as a team captain during the coin toss, sharing a laugh with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at midfield.
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