Robert Griffin III got plenty of face time on Monday Night Football, jogging onto FedEx Field in workout gear, throwing balls to Jordan Reed on the sideline and chatting with players and coaches as he watched the Redskins warm up for their game against Super Bowl champion Seattle.
But Coach Jay Gruden made clear Tuesday that Griffin, who has been sidelined since Week 2 by a dislocated left ankle, won’t be taking the field as Washington’s starting quarterback in the near future.
“I don’t envision that any time soon,” Gruden told reporters during a conference call, asked about the timetable for Griffin’s return.
Griffin wasn’t wearing a protective boot. And he looked in great shape, sporting a skin-tight compression shirt and customary sleeve on his left arm he threw easy passes to one of his favorite targets. But he didn’t plant firmly on the throws, so it was impossible to gauge his readiness.
Gruden also dismissed a suggestion that Griffin might join the 1-4 team for practice in the near term, saying that the next step would likely be to increase his work load on a treadmill under the team trainer’s supervision.
“Maybe we’ll get him out here when the time is right,” Gruden said, declining even a cursory stab at a timetable.
When Griffin suffered the second major leg injury of his NFL career in the first quarter against Jacksonville, Kirk Cousins stepped in to lead Washington to its lone victory of the season. Cousins has since gone 0-3 as a starter, and the Redskins are at the bottom of the NFC East standings.
Gruden described Griffin’s role during the work week as akin to that of the backup quarterbacks. He attends quarterback meetings, makes sure he’s current with the plays that are being installed, watches video, takes notes and envisions himself in starter’s role, taking “mental reps” as Cousins and Colt McCoy take real reps in practice.
Asked if Griffin was playing a helpful role on game day, Gruden said: “We don’t need him to help. He’s trying to offer support. If he sees something, he can recommend it. Between myself and [offensive coordinator] Sean [McVay] talking to Kirk, I think it’s more he’s there to pat him on the head and tell him to hang in there.”
E-mail a Redskins question to email@example.com, with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered in Tuesday’s Mailbag.
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