The Washington Redskins have announced that quarterback Robert Griffin III has been cleared to start the team’s season-opener on Sept. 9 against the Philadelphia Eagles, but coach Mike Shanahan stopped short of saying that he would do so.
Griffin, who tore the ACL and LCL in his right knee on Jan. 6, was examined by Dr. James Andrews before Thursday’s final preseason game in Tampa Bay. Andrews gave the go-ahead to clear Griffin for Week 1 after examining the quarterback in person in Tampa on Thursday night. But Shanahan wasn’t ready to use that information to list Griffin as his starter.
“There’s a couple concerns [Andrews] has,” Shanahan told reporters after Washington’s 30-12 victory. “I’ll talk to Robert over the weekend and I’ll let you guys know on Monday where we’re at.”
Recent signs pointed to Griffin starting. He has practiced without restriction for the last two weeks, including drills against the Redskins’ No. 1 defense at full speed. He also received increased repetitions at practice on Monday and Tuesday this week.
Griffin tore ligaments in his right knee during a Jan. 6 playoff loss to Seattle. He underwent surgery on Jan. 9. Shanahan had repeatedly said this summer that he would wait to declare Griffin ready for the opener until after he was cleared by Dr. Andrews, his surgeon. Even that apparently wasn’t enough.
Griffin had said this week he felt ready to start the opener. In an interview on Tuesday with ESPN 980 he said that he is “100 percent.” After the Tampa Bay game he tweeted “Operation Patience….Complete. Cleared. To God Be The Glory.”
The Redskins finished an undefeated 4-0 preseason without him on Thursday. Evan Royster scored on a short, early touchdown run, prospective punt returner/running back Chris Thompson returned a kick 69 yards for a score and Kai Forbath hit all three of his kicks, including a 47-yarder in the third quarter.