Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan helped game plan for the Cleveland Browns this week without knowing who will quarterback the Redskins. Robert Griffin III’s sprained knee is improving, but the team is waiting to see how much he progresses before determining whether Griffin or fellow rookie Kirk Cousins will start.
“It’s a little bit of a challenge because I can’t lock in as much as I usually do to exactly how the order and what I’m trying to attack, so I’ve got to be a little bit more open-minded because there’s a few different directions you could go,” Shanahan said. “But I kind of put myself in check when I start to get a little frustrated with it because I know it’s probably a little more frustrating for them than it is for me.
“They’re dealing with the same deal. They’ve got to prepare for two different quarterbacks. So do we. You put a lot of stuff in, seeing which direction you’ll go. You see how they’re going to play it, what they’re scheme is.”
Shanahan is relieved the Redskins are so deep into the season.
“At this point in the year with our players, there’s not a lot of new learning,” he said. “You run your concepts that you’ve been doing. Guys are ready to adjust. It’s not that big of a deal. It depends what you see on game day. I’m ready to adjust to what schemes they’re doing.”
Shanahan echoed coach Mike Shanahan’s assessment that Griffin appeared healthier in practice Thursday than Wednesday.
Still, Kyle has concerns that go beyond how fluidly Griffin moves.
“I think Robert is going to be able to show us he can move well,” Kyle said. “It’s more: Is his knee stable enough? And can he protect himself in there? And is there a risk of a further injury?”
Kyle expressed optimism about Griffin’s availability, even though Griffin was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday.
“He hasn’t been with us much, but what he’s doing out there, he definitely looks healthier than he did after Sunday,” Kyle said. “After Sunday we were really worried about it. He has surprised us each day. He’s got a very talented body, obviously, and he’s very gifted in that aspect.
“He works at it as hard as anyone can. When you work at rehab the same way you work at studying, the same way you work in the weight room, you’re going to see improvement every day, no matter who you are. He’s working at it so it’s paying off. Hopefully it will be good enough on Sunday.”