Cornerback Cedric Griffin on Wednesday returned to practice following his four-game suspension for the use of performance enhancing drugs, and while admitting that he embarrassed himself, the seven-year veteran added that he aims to play Sunday and contribute to an eighth straight win for the Redskins.
“I’m out there practicing, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be there,” Griffin said. “I’m in good shape right now, coach Shanahan feels comfortable about my situation, [defensive backs coach] Raheem [Morris] feels comfortable, [defensive coordinator] Jim [Haslett] feels comfortable. As long as we continue to be in the right positions, coach will be calling the right plays, and we’ll be making plays out there.
“Any time you face embarrassment in the public, it’s kind of tough,” Griffin added. “But at the same time, it’s about how you come back. I’m not really worried about what people say or the media says. It was a fault on my behalf, and it’s something I’ll have to [own] up to.”
Griffin had served as Washington’s third cornerback and because of his size and experience, the 6-foot, 195-pounder gave the Redskins a good deal of versatility as he lined up alongside starters DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson frequently.
Griffin was coming off one of his best games of the season in Week 13 when he received word from the league that his suspension (stemming from the use of Adderall, according to people with knowledge of the situation) and subsequent denied appeal had been finalized and that he would miss the final four games of the regular season.
Wednesday was the first day that Griffin was able to practice, but no decision has been made about whether he will play Sunday against Seattle.
The Redskins will evaluate him throughout the week to judge his conditioning, and then will make a decision closer to gameday as to whether or not he can play effectively.
Asked how he looked on Wednesday, Shanahan said of Griffin: “He looked like he’s been away a few weeks. I thought he had a good day of practice, but we’ll evaluate it day-by-day.”
Griffin said that he maintained his conditioning by working out, lifting and running on his own during the time that he was banned from the Redskins Park. He watched all of his team’s final four games, and expressed gratitude that he could get a chance to redeem himself with contributions in the playoffs.
“I’ve been there in spirit, man. I’ve been praying a whole lot, just sitting there, watching the games, on the edge of my seats,” Griffin said. “I’ve been the biggest cheerleader for the Washington Redskins, and I’m just thankful for coach Shanahan, and Paul [Kelly, the team’s Director of Football Operations], and everybody just for bringing me back, and making sure I’m going to contribute during this playoff run.”