Mike Shanahan: Cedric Griffin eligible to return to practice

(Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

With his four-game suspension fulfilled, cornerback Cedric Griffin will return to practice this week, and a decision will be made late this week on whether or not to activate him, Coach Mike Shanahan said.

Griffin was suspended the final four games of the Redskins’ regular season without pay for the use of performance enhancing drugs. During his punishment, he wasn’t allowed to be at the team facility.

Initially, the Redskins cleaned out his locker, removed his name plate from it, and gave his jersey number to practice squad defensive back Korey Lindsey. Linsdsey several days later was then given No. 22, and Shanahan said that the team still maintained Griffin’s rights and that while Griffin would be eligible to return if Washington reached the postseason, a decision on the cornerback’s future would be made at the end of his suspension.

Redskins players said on Sunday that they were looking forward to getting Griffin (who had served as their third corner) back on the field, and then on Monday, fellow corner Josh Wilson said Griffin’s presence — with his size and experience — will be welcomed.

“Man, that’s another dog to the fight. … I can’t wait to get Ced back,” Wilson said.

But Shanahan said that he and his staff will not make a decision on Griffin until seeing how he practices

“It all depends on what type of shape he’s in,” Shanahan said while speaking at his regular Monday press conference. “Any time he hasn’t played in four weeks, you’re not sure. … You’re hoping he can come in and play a the level that he was, but you don’t know.”

Shanahan said that as the Redskins turn their attention to Seattle on Sunday, they will go through their normal preparation routine. The team will have the normal amount of days to practice unlike Green Bay and Minnesota, who play on Saturday.

Shanahan said the decision was made to dress Rex Grossman on Sunday

Shanahan admitted a sense of accomplishment from having won the division.

“It was so rewarding, especially to see the excitement of coaching staff, everybody’s been working the last three years, 18 hours a day,” Shanahan said. He recalled narrow misses at division titles his last few years at Denver, and then said despite the good feelings, the Redskins have plenty of work left ahead of them.

Shanahan said he isn’t concerned about Robert Griffin III’s knee. He joked that he was hoping Griffin would’ve averaged more than 10 yards a carry against Dallas.

Shanahan added: “It’s just not natural to go back in [after an LCL sprain] to run a 4.3 40,” but the doctors remain confident that Griffin can’t further injure the ligament. Shanahan said he doesn’t believe that Griffin’s knee is hurting him more than he is letting on. The coach believes the bulky brace is a key reason for why Griffin looks different when he runs.

Asked if Kyle Shanahan has drawn interest from other teams, Shanahan said “it’s my feeling its not time to interview during the season.”

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