Robert Griffin III’s only problem seems to be that he is still irritated that the Washington Redskins coaches kept him out of last Sunday’s game at Cleveland. Physically, the rookie quarterback who is enjoying a strong first NFL season looked unimpeded by a mild knee strain of almost two weeks ago and declared himself ready to play Sunday in Philadelphia.
Griffin is awaiting the go-ahead from team doctors and coaches to take the field in a crucial game for the Redskins’ playoff hopes. He went through a full workout without limitations and reported no discomfort or lack of mobility.
“I always expect to play,” Griffin said to reporters after practice. There was an edge to his tone, as if he is annoyed that he has not already been deemed healthy enough to play.
“They’re going to keep playing it by sight, come out, watch me and then figure out what they think the best progression is from here,” he added. “I’m ready to play whenever they want me to play. So, if it’s this week, next week, couple weeks — whatever they say goes. I’ll be ready.”
Coach Mike Shanahan said he was unsure when the decision would be made on Griffin’s playing status. He said a major determination would be based on how his knee reacts to the workout.
“What doctors will do, is they’ll evaluate him (Thursday),” Shanahan said. “Hopefully there’s no setback, no swelling through the knee. He’ll be evaluated through the week, and when doctors tell me the [ligament] is ready to go, then I’ll announce he’s ready to go.”
Griffin sprained the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee two weeks ago against Baltimore. Kurt Cousins stepped in then to lead the dramatic comeback win over the Ravens and played beautifully (26-for-37, 329 yards and two touchdowns) in a 38-21 victory. It was the Redskins’ fifth straight victory and it launched them atop the NFC East.
Griffin still spoke of how disappointing it was to not play Sunday in Cleveland. “It is frustrating,” he said. “Players play.”
And it seems likely he will retake the reins of the team in Philly. He said his knee felt solid Wednesday, going full speed. The Washington Post reported that Griffin looked mobile and unlimited in the portion of practice the media is allowed to witness.
“I just have to prove it to [the team doctors] on the field,” Griffin said. “When I’m out here running around, doing all the plays, getting the reps, that’s when they’ll see, and then it’s up to them to decide.”
He reiterated he was not happy to be held out Sunday, but understands the coaches have to protect the franchise’s biggest commodity.
“There’s no strained relationship. What they’re going to tell me is they did the best thing for me,” Griffin said. “But as a player, I’m not going to say sitting out a game is the best thing for me. That’s just not how you operate or how you think.”