Griffin says he’ll begin making cuts on surgically repaired knee next week

June 11, 2013

Robert Griffin III rolls out as he works in drills during Tuesday’s practice. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Quarterback Robert Griffin III said Tuesday he will begin making cuts on his surgically repaired right knee next week as part of his rehabilitation program, as he aims to be ready to practice at the outset of the Washington Redskins’ training camp late next month.

“You saw today the explosive sprinting part,” Griffin said following the team’s minicamp practice at Redskins Park. “I feel comfortable sprinting now. The next big stage is just cutting. And it’s not that I go cut for two days and I’m ready to go. It’s just a month of just doing cutting drills, change of direction. That way I can train my body to get back for that.

“So I’ll start that next week. I’ll start cutting next week. And then after that it’s just everything over and over. I continue to work out in the weight room over the next four or five weeks. I continue to keep sprinting and just get more and more comfortable. And then whatever I feel like I have a deficiency at, I make sure I fix that. There’s exercises you can do to help with that.”

After this week’s minicamp, Redskins players are off until training camp, which is scheduled to begin July 25 in Richmond. Griffin said last week he believes it is a realistic goal for him to be ready to practice at the outset of training camp. He reiterated that Tuesday.

“The shocking thing is every week that does pass by that I don’t talk to you guys, I am feeling better,” Griffin said. “So that’s a positive sign. When it comes to training camp, it’s just a matter of how my body feels when I get back on July 25 before we go down to Richmond. We’ll go from there. But I’ve said it a bunch of times: I’m pretty confident I’ll be ready.”

Coach Mike Shanahan remained noncommittal on the issue of whether Griffin will be permitted to practice at the outset of training camp.

“The big thing is when we go to camp,” Shanahan said Tuesday. “He’ll get a physical and see where he’s at. … When that date is, I don’t think anybody knows. The doctors are going to look at him and tell us when he’s ready to practice. When he is, we’ll see what he can do.”

Shanahan said last week that doctors had portrayed Griffin’s rehabilitation as a seven- to nine-month process. Griffin underwent surgery Jan. 9 to have the anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments in his knee repaired. A seven-month recovery would conclude Aug. 9. But Shanahan declined to say Tuesday whether the team will keep Griffin from practicing before that date.

“Like I said, we listen to the doctors,” Shanahan said. “The doctors will be able to tell you more about that than me. I just shared with you what they had said. So when the doctors do clear him, then we’ll practice him.”

Griffin has begun doing sprints and spent Tuesday’s minicamp practice, which was conducted in the team’s indoor practice facility, continuing to do his rehab work on the side with other injured players not participating in the practice.

Griffin is scheduled to get married early next month in Denver. He said he will remain in the D.C. area for some time prior to his wedding.

“I’m going to be here for another week, another two weeks,” Griffin said. “And then I’ll be gone for a little bit. I’ve got to live a personal life too.  I’m not going to take that away from my fiancée just for football. There’s life outside of football. I’ll make sure I stay prepared, ready to go, stay in contact with everybody. And then we’ll go from there.”

His rehab will continue while he is on his honeymoon, he said.

“I’m going to get married and that’s that,” Griffin said. “I’m going to go on a honeymoon and everything. I’m talking. I’m planning ahead of time to make sure I do things that I have to do while I’m on that honeymoon. I think I’m a responsible guy. So I’ll make sure I do everything I have to [do] to be ready — cutting, running, working out — so when I get back and they see me, that they’ll be not only impressed but they feel safe and sound to put me out there.”

Griffin, who also recovered from a torn ACL while in college at Baylor, said he’s not concerned about having to overcome any further mental hurdles in his return.

“I think on the mental side, I’m okay,” he said. “It’s just the physical side, teaching my body how to re-learn all the movements. I’ve been doing a good job with the rest of the guys working the football drills. Whenever we go inside, we can’t do as much because there’s limited space. But when we’re outside, we’re doing all the football-related stuff and everybody looks great. Mentally it’s just about playing like you were never gone and now I’ve just to make sure I continue to move forward and not have any setbacks.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag.

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Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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Mike Jones · June 11, 2013

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