Updated, 1:17 p.m.
RICHMOND – Robert Griffin III confirmed that he will receive his first snaps against an 11-man defense when the Washington Redskins practice on Tuesday. The quarterback said he has “no doubt” that he will play Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles. But he confessed that although he hasn’t entirely agreed with or understood how Mike Shanahan has held him back during his comeback, he trusts his head coach.
Addressing the media after taking his highest number of walkthrough snaps in training camp – 53 of 70 first-team reps – Griffin sported a new hairdo: cornrows rather than his trademark plaits. Griffin said the new look represented a new chapter in his journey back from a reconstructed right knee.
“New phase, new hair. Let’s do it,” Griffin said. “More reps in practice. Be a football player.”
The second-year quarterback said that Shanahan before the start of training camp had shared with him his plan for how the team would bring him along during his recovery. Griffin has at times seemed antsy, but he hasn’t criticized Shanahan’s handling of him. He hasn’t totally understood or agreed with it, however.
“I can’t B.S. that answer. No. I don’t like it, and there’s some part of it that I do understand,” Griffin said. “I don’t understand all of it, but [Shanahan] gave me his word. We talked about it. I know the plan. I’m not telling the whole plan because he doesn’t want the whole plan known. I understand that as well. But I don’t understand the whole plan at all. I can’t lie about that. When you give your word to somebody, that’s all you have, so I’m just banking that they’re gonna stay true to their word and I’m staying true to mine. I’m doing everything that they ask me to do without any gripes. I mean, other than with you guys – and that’s the way you’ve got to do it.”
Griffin said Monday’s afternoon practice session will feature him handling the seven-on-seven workload that he has in recent weeks. Tuesday, the practice activity will ramp up and he will go against an 11-man defense.
“Definitely tomorrow,” Griffin said, confirming a Post report Sunday evening that he would see increased activity on Tuesday. “I look forward to it. I’ve been ready for. It’s just a matter of time. … Their job is to make sure that I’m ready. My job is to make sure that I’m ready, too. So, I did everything that I can to make sure that no matter what happens, I’m ready to go.”
He later added, “You’ll get to see me play football instead of seven-on-seven. Team drills, live action, having fun with my boys. That’s how it is.”
Griffin prepares to embark in the next phase of his recovery a week after lobbying publicly for Shanahan to loosen the reins on him. The coach, however, stood fast in his plan that Griffin wouldn’t face a full defense for at least another week.
Shanahan said last Thursday, however, that a timeline for full 11-on-11 action for Griffin had not yet been set.
But now, whether previously planned or not, Griffin will get that wish.
Griffin said he has no apprehension about returning to action against a full defense. He maintains that he has experienced no soreness or swelling in his knee, and that he has confidence that he can return to the high level of play that he is known for.
Griffin said he would like to change Shanahan’s mind so he could get at least a limited amount of preseason action, not for the physical aspect, but for mental sharpness. But he said for now, the answer “is a hard, ‘No.’”
Griffin believes that either way, he will be ready to open the season as Washington’s starting quarterback when the Eagles come to town on Sept. 9.
“There’s no doubt I’m playing Week 1,” Griffin said.
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● Today’s second practice is at 3:20 p.m. Tuesday’s schedule has been modified, with a 10 a.m. and 3:20 p.m. workout sandwiched around an 11:30 “special announcement.” If you’re headed to Richmond, check our our guide to training camp for tips on getting autographs, where to park and things to do after the session is over.
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