Robert Griffin III Cleared For Week 1
The surgeon who performed surgery to repair ligaments in the quarterback’s right knee in January has given him permission to play in the opener against the Eagles on Sept. 9.
BY ZAC BOYER
It’s … well, mostly official.
James Andrews cleared Robert Griffin III to play in the Redskins’ season opener against the Eagles on Sept. 9, but Mike Shanahan said Andrews has a few concerns about the state of Griffin’s right knee after the quarterback underwent an examination Thursday evening.
“I talked to Dr. Andrews, and Dr. Andrews, after talking to him, he is going to approve Robert to play,” Shanahan told reporters in Tampa, Fla., where the Redskins defeated the Buccaneers 30-12 in the final preseason game. “He has a couple concerns that he has, and I’ll talk with Robert over the weekend and I’ll tell you all on Monday.”
Griffin, meanwhile, posted a photo on his Twitter account with the caption “Cleared for takeoff,” alluding that he has already received the news he wanted with regards to starting in the season opener.
Andrews, an orthopedist and team consultant who repaired Griffin’s right knee on Jan. 9, examined Griffin following a workout at Raymond James Stadium. Griffin went through an extensive pregame workout that included running, sprinting, cutting and changing direction, all of which Andrews watched from the sidelines, according to reporters on site.
He later met with Shanahan, general manager Bruce Allen, owner Dan Snyder, team physician Anthony Casolaro and orthopedist Christopher Annunziata, at which point he expressed his belief that Griffin is ready for the full rigors of football.
Griffin originally sustained a Grade 1 sprain of the LCL in his right knee in the Redskins’ victory over the Ravens on Dec. 9 last season, then, after missing a game, returned to finish out the final two games of the regular season – both of which the Redskins won.
He then aggravated the LCL in the first quarter of the Redskins’ wild card playoff game against the Seahawks on Jan. 6, and while he stayed in the game until the fourth quarter, he finally left after further aggravating the knee while trying to recover a loose ball.
Griffin made it his goal to return for the start of the regular season, but when he realized that his rehabilitation would allow him to do so, he moved that goal up to the start of training camp on July 25.
Three days earlier, Andrews gave Griffin permission to return to football-related activities, though he recommended the team keep him out of all four preseason games in order to prevent any inflammation.
Griffin spent two weeks working in 7-on-7 passing drills before graduating to full 11-on-11 team work against a scout team defense, and it wasn’t until the team returned from training camp two weeks ago that he was allowed to work against the first-team defense.
The slow return to practice rankled Griffin, who interpreted Andrews’ initial clearance as permission for him to not only practice fully, but also to play in the preseason. He went back-and-forth with Shanahan for the better part of two weeks during training camp, with the quarterback expressing his desire to play and the head coach insisting he’d continue to sit out.
And while the expectation all along was that Griffin, the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year last season, would be able to play against the Eagles eight months to the day after undergoing surgery, it’s now a fact.
He’s been cleared.