As they monitor Griffin throughout the week, the Redskins must weigh the risks of allowing the quarterback to return prematurely. Having won four consecutive games to move into contention for a playoff spot, Washington has little room for error. The Giants hold a one-game lead over the Redskins for the NFC East lead, and the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears hold a one-game lead over them for one of two wild-card berths.
Griffin has driven Washington’s offense, compiling a league-best quarterback rating of 104.2. He has thrown 18 touchdown passes and only four interceptions, and rushed for another six touchdowns.
The struggles of a defense that ranks 28th in the league amplify the need for production out of Griffin and Washington’s fifth-ranked offense.
But if Griffin were to return to action too quickly he could suffer a setback that would sideline him for an extended period of time.
On Wednesday, he dismissed those concerns, citing the nature of this injury.
“I know in 2009, when I tore my ACL and I wanted to come back and play two weeks off of that, then you have a chance of messing up the other ligaments,” he said. “But with a Grade 1 LCL sprain, I don’t know that you are in danger of damaging the other ligaments. I wear a brace and go on from there.”
Griffin conceded that the decision isn’t his to make, however. And Shanahan said he would trust his eyes and the opinion of the team’s medical staff.
“You look at him every day and how he’s practicing in comparison to what he could do before, when he was completely healthy. You try to evaluate him on the field and not what he’s telling you. . . . Then you make a decision what’s the best thing for him and the football team.”
Redskins notes: Linebacker London Fletcher did not participate in the Redskins’ practice Wednesday, Shanahan said. Fletcher has missed practice time in recent weeks but has continued to play on a sprained left ankle.
Williams also has been playing through injuries, including a thigh bruise. He was a limited participant, Shanahan said.
Wide receiver Pierre Garcon and cornerback DeAngelo Hall practiced fully, according to Shanahan. Garcon has been bothered all season by a torn ligament near the second toe of his right foot. Hall played on an injured ankle in Sunday’s win over the Ravens.