Robert Griffin III on Wednesday handled the most extensive workload that he has received since dislocating his left ankle in Week 2. Coach Jay Gruden said after practice that the quarterback “looked good,” but he went on to run off a laundry list of benchmarks that that Griffin still must meet before returning to game form. The coach said he plans to make a final determination on the quarterback position on Thursday afternoon, but for now, he’s sticking with Colt McCoy as the starter for Monday night’s game at Dallas.
“He’s progressing along. It’s just a matter of watching him,” Gruden said. “It’s not so much of watching him run. I think he feels okay running right now, but it’s a matter of how he feels tomorrow, and then there’s certain movements — rolling out to the left, rolling out to the right, cutting back. We just have to see how he handles that. But the biggest thing is we’ve got to get him back comfortable throwing out of the pocket and throwing the ball to the receivers, getting his timing down. There’s a lot of that also. But he’s coming along at a good clip, like we thought he would, but we’ll see where he is tomorrow and the next day.”
Sidelined for four weeks while recovering from a dislocated left ankle, Griffin participated in a limited number of individual and team drills last week.
Wednesday represented a step forward in his progress, however. Redskins coaches and trainers ramped up Griffin’s level of activity while trying to gauge his progress, and his availability for Monday night’s game at Dallas.
During the session, Griffin, wearing a bulky brace on his ankle as he did last week, took part in both individual and team drills. He alternated with McCoy running the first-team offense, and he split second-team reps with Kirk Cousins. Griffin also took some reps with the third team, Gruden said.
“He looked good,” Gruden said. “We’ll find out from the trainers how he feels right now, and tomorrow morning will be the big thing and another day’s work tomorrow, we’ll see how he progresses.”
On Monday, Gruden announced plans of starting McCoy against Dallas, but said that a remote possibility remained that Griffin could play depending on the state of his ankle.
Two days later, the coach said that nothing he saw from Griffin in his expanded workload had changed his mind, and that the chances of Griffin playing on Monday had not increased.
“No, it’s about the same. We’re still going to measure him,” Gruden said. “It’s up to the trainers and the doctors right now. They’ve got to clear him, No. 1. Like i said, No. 2, he has got to feel good. But it’ll be a process of how he feels tomorrow, how he feels the next day and how he’s throwing and how he’s playing the position.”
Summing up what he needs to see from the quarterback, Gruden said, “It’s not so much about how his leg feels. It is, but it’s also about taking plays with the pass rush coming at him with live reps, which he hasn’t had since Jacksonville, which was a long time, it seems like. So, big part of it is, how do we progress him along and get him the reps in practice. There’s only so many that he can have, but that’s the biggest issue with that, and getting the timing with receivers and just playing the game.
Gruden continued, “He’s got to take the reps. He’s got to see the routes, deliver some passes accurately and on time and under duress in the pocket, and move around and when he runs, he has to run both directions full speed. Obviously, we can’t simulate any contact. We can’t tackle him. But the biggest thing is No. 1, the doctors have to clear him and then he has to go through a couple good days of practice of asserting energy on that thing and then see how it reacts the next day. Is it going to swell up? Is it going to be sore? And then also still evaluate him from the process of getting back into football shape and football form. So there’s a lot of variances as to whether or not we think he’ll be ready for Monday night health-wise, No. 1, and then obviously, is he ready, physically, getting back in the flow with the wide receivers with timing and accuracy and all that.”
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