“I can know what peaks and valleys there’s going to be,” he said, “what milestones I need to hit and when I’m gonna hit them and just give me the confidence to know that I can come back better than I was before.”
Griffin’s ability to recover from knee surgery will be one of the NFL’s biggest story lines until training camps open in five months. Such an extensive injury could take a year or more for recovery. But last season, Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson tore his anterior cruciate ligament and had surgery on Dec. 30, 2012. He was ready by Week 1, posted 2,097 rushing yards this season and Saturday night was named the AP most valuable player.
Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III is attending the NFL Honors in New Orleans on the eve of the Super Bowl, and said his injured knee is “feeling good.”
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“I’ll do my best to give him some great information,” Peterson said. “Of course, everyone heals differently. We all have different mind-sets. Hopefully they come in with the same mind-set that I came in with. It wasn’t easy. People, they’re like, wow, how did it happen? I had to work real hard. . . . Mentally, just believing that you’re going to come back and you’re going to be better. That’s a huge part of it. It sounds cliché, it sounds simple, but you’ve got to believe it in order to accomplish it.”
Even if Griffin’s rehabilitation is smooth and he’s ready by Week 1, his rookie season has set a high bar. In leading the Redskins to their first division title in 13 years, Griffin completed 258 of 393 passes for 3,200 yards, 20 touchdowns and also rushed for 815 yards (a league record for rookies) and seven touchdowns.
He beat out his teammate, running back Alfred Morris, and two other quarterbacks, Indianapolis’s Andrew Luck and Seattle’s Russell Wilson, to win top offensive rookie honors. Griffin earned 29 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members, well ahead of Luck’s 11 and Wilson’s 10.
The Redskins hadn’t boasted an offensive rookie of the year since running back Mike Thomas in 1975.
“Times have changed,” Griffin said. “It’s time for us to take that first place like we did this past year in the NFC East, and we’ve just got to keep building from there.”