RICHMOND – Robert Griffin III returned to 11-on-11 action in front of a crowd announced at 10,111 today at the Bon Secours training facility, and looked as comfortable in this next phase of his comeback as he did in seven-on-seven drills. Wide receivers and tight ends said that they didn’t notice any rustiness or abnormally mistimed throws from the quarterback.
The biggest change was the work with the linemen, and all of them said that things progressed as smoothly with Griffin as they have been with Kirk Cousins. Niles Paul did say, “I hate to use the word, but his swagger in the huddle is a lot different from any of the other QBs we have. Kirk and Rex all do a good job of taking care of the huddle, but with Robert, it’s just a different vibe. Little funny voices, mannerisms after plays, when he makes good plays. We all pay attention to that.”
Griffin’s longest throw was a 33-yard pass down the left sideline to tight end Jordan Reed. The rookie stretched out and made a leaping catch and then fell to the ground. He got up and trotted in from the 10-yard line for a touchdown, although the defender never tried stopping him.
Griffin appeared annoyed by his final completion of the day. He hit Pierre Garcon on a seam route 15 yards downfield. But the coverage was busted, and not a single defender was around Garcon. Griffin threw up his hands as if to say, “C’mon, that was too easy.”
● The Redskins announced Wednesday that they released Devery Henderson. Shanahan said Tuesday that he expected the wide receiver to re-join the team on Wednesday. But the coach said Wednesday afternoon, that he felt he owed it to a veteran like Henderson to tell him that he really had no chance of making the team. Shanahan said Henderson came into camp out of shape, and given that he had been away from the team for the death of a family member, he would have still had significant ground to make up. So, Shanahan decided to release Henderson now so he would have more time to look for work.
● Linebacker Nick Barnett received the day off after two straight days of team drills. Shanahan said that Barnett, who is working his way back into football shape after recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery this offseason, was held out as a precautionary move because the team doesn’t want him to do too much too soon. Shanahan said Barnett won’t play in the next preseason game, but could possibly play against Buffalo. Inside linebacker depth is an issue for the Redskins, who again were without Roddrick Muckelroy and are down to Bryan Kehl as their only fully healthy veteran behind London Fletcher and Perry Riley.
● Fred Davis continues to look good in practices, and Shanahan said that because of the positive results the tight end has displayed, he expects Davis to play roughly half of next Monday’s game.
● Rookie running backs Chris Thompson and Jawan Jamison seem to have a good shot to see action in the game against Pittsburgh. Both received repetitions with the second-team offense, which is a bump up. Previously, they have been limited primarily to the third team.
● Kai Forbath had a strong kicking performance today, making field goal attempts of 32, 36, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48 and 58 yards. His lone miss came from 65 yards out. It sailed wide right. It did have the distance. His competitor, John Potter, didn’t receive any field goal action today.
● Kory Lichtensteiger got a couple of second-team snaps at center. Kevin Matthews has served as Will Montgomery’s primary backup, but today Lichtensteiger took some of his reps.
● Brandon Meriweather didn’t play with the first- or second-team defense at all today, but did play on the scout-team defense against the second-team offense. Meriweather appeared to move well and picked off a Rex Grossman pass. On the next play, Meriweather lined up deep and displayed good range as he broke on the ball and broke up a pass intended for Lance Lewis. Meriweather seems unlikely to play in Monday’s game against Pittsburgh. The Redskins need him to get as healthy as possible now with a thinning strong safety position.
● Bacarri Rambo said that he has been working to keep Phillip Thomas’s spirits up after his fellow rookie learned that he is lost for the season with a Lisfranc sprain. Thomas is Rambo’s roommate, so the two are close, and Rambo said he intends to “help [Thomas] get through this thing.”
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● Thursday’s practice is at 12:40 p.m.
● In the morning, we’ll check in on the Griffin-to-Garcon connection.
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