Robert Griffin III, the Washington Redskins’ starting quarterback who is trying to overcome a third injury in the last two seasons, practiced for the first time in six weeks Wednesday and “looked good,” according to coach Jay Gruden.
But the first-year coach was not ready to declare Griffin the starter Monday night in Dallas against the rival Cowboys.
“[Head trainer] Larry [Hess] has got to clear him first,” Gruden said. “You know, say, ‘Hey, he is ready for full contact.’ That’s No. 1. And then No. 2, Robert’s got to feel in his mind that he is ready to go. I know that he is going to say, ‘I’m ready to go.’ He was ready to go four weeks ago probably in his mind. After that, it will be a football decision whether or not we think he is ready to go [despite] not getting any reps for the last six weeks.”
Griffin’s length of time away since he dislocated his left ankle in the second game of the season is Gruden’s concern.
“That’s a long time for a quarterback, you know?” Gruden said. “It’s one thing to play offensive guard, maybe miss five or six weeks and come right back in. But at quarterback, with the cadence, the reads, the progressions, the audibles, the timing with the receivers, that’s a little more difficult, especially for a young guy.”
Trainers want to see whether Griffin’s ankle exhibits any swelling or soreness Thursday morning. Griffin then must display an improved ability to sprint, cut and change directions, and in two days of practice, he must make up for all the reps he has missed during his five-week layoff, regain a strong command of the offense and hone his timing with receivers and awareness in the pocket.
Griffin has Thursday and Friday to show no swelling in the ankle and the ability to make sharp cuts with no pain. In the meantime, Colt McCoy, who supplanted Kirk Cousins last week against Tennessee, will be the starter for Washington.