Robert Griffin III expected to participate in Redskins’ practice Wednesday

October 9, 2012

Robert Griffin III takes hit Sunday against Falcons (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III is expected to participate in the Washington Redskins’ practice on Wednesday, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday.

Griffin has been given clearance to participate in the practice, barring a setback, the person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment on the matter publicly.

“He will practice tomorrow,” the person said.

Griffin will not be subject to any contact during his expected participation in Wednesday’s practice, the person said.

Griffin is following the NFL-mandated testing procedures after suffering a concussion during Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons at FedEx Field.

Participating in Wednesday’s practice would not guarantee that Griffin would play in Sunday’s game at home against the Minnesota Vikings. But it seemingly would be a significant step in that direction. The plan for Griffin to practice Wednesday potentially could change if he suffers a recurrence of symptoms such as a headache, dizziness or nausea before then.

Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said Monday that Griffin was “feeling good” that day. But any setback that Griffin might suffer during the week would make it unlikely that he would play against the Vikings, Shanahan said.

“The experts are in charge of it now,” Shanahan said Monday. “We’re not. We have no say. They’ve got a standardized format, which I think is great. It takes us out of the equation and what’s best for the player is usually what’s best for the team.”

Team officials did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday. Redskins players were off Tuesday. They’re scheduled to return to Redskins Park to begin preparations for the Vikings game in earnest Wednesday.

Under NFL rules, Griffin must be cleared by team physician Anthony Casolaro and an independent neurological consultant before practicing or playing in a game. He must pass a neuropsychological evaluation, which is compared to baseline testing done on him previously. And he must be able to exercise at game-level intensity without a recurrence of concussion symptoms.

Shanahan said Monday afternoon that Griffin would meet with a neurologist and undergo testing that day and, if all went well, he would attempt to exercise on a treadmill Tuesday. If all continued to go well and Griffin had no recurring concussion symptoms, Shanahan said Monday, the Redskins would hope for Griffin to participate in Wednesday’s practice without being subject to contact. He is to be monitored all week for any recurrence of concussion symptoms, Shanahan said Monday.

Griffin left Sunday’s game in the third quarter after absorbing a hit to the head near the sideline while running with the ball.

“Robert said to me he’s fine,” Shanahan said Monday. “I said: ‘No, you’re not fine. I don’t think you’re fine. Your eyes look a little glassy.’ Our doctors talked to him and he knew the quarter, knew the score. So they took him back into that little box behind our bench and asked him again what was the quarter, what was the score. The second time, he missed it. The first time, he got it. So that’s when they took him into the locker room and administered the test, the concussion test. That’s when they decided that he had a concussion. …That’s when the doctors knew that there was some type of problem.”

Thom Mayer, the medical director for the NFL Players Association, said Monday that he’d spoken to Casolaro. Mayer said the Redskins followed medical procedures properly Sunday with Griffin.

“They did a sideline medical exam,” Mayer said Monday. “The results were not dramatic. But there was enough there, in terms of him having a problem knowing what quarter it was, that it was appropriate that they did the exam and removed him from the game. They did the right thing in protecting their player.”

Fellow rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins replaced Griffin against the Falcons, throwing a touchdown pass but also two late interceptions in the 24-17 defeat, and probably would be in line to get his first NFL start against the Vikings if Griffin suffers a setback this week and is unable to play. The Redskins also have former starter Rex Grossman on their roster. He has been on the inactive list for each of the team’s five games this season, with Cousins serving as Griffin’s primary backup.

 

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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Mike Jones · October 9, 2012

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