Back from his NFL-imposed suspension, Washington Redskins cornerback Cedric Griffin said he’s in “great shape” and is eager to play Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC wild card round.
Griffin, who was suspended for the final four games of the regular season for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy, took responsibility Wednesday for what happened.
“Anytime you face embarrassment in the public, it’s kind of tough, but at the same time, it’s how you come back,” Griffin said. “I’m not really worried about what people say or what the media says. It was a fault on my behalf and that’s something I got to take up.”
Griffin said he was thankful to coach Mike Shanahan and his staff for allowing him to come back after the suspension. He practiced Wednesday for the first time since the ban was announced Dec. 4. His last game was Dec. 3 against the New York Giants.
“I’m here to play football, so I came back in shape. I’m ready to go,” Griffin said. “So when my number is called, I go out there on the field and try to contribute.”
With D.J. Johnson’s status for Sunday afternoon uncertain after suffering a left knee injury against the Dallas Cowboys, Griffin’s presence is valuable to the Redskins’ secondary. He should be the third cornerback, behind Josh Wilson and DeAngelo Hall and just above Richard Crawford on the depth chart.
Griffin had been playing well before the suspension and is confident that will continue in the playoffs.
“I’m going to continue to play how I play. The coaches put me in great positions when I was out there on the field and they’ll continue to do the same thing,” Griffin said. “I’m going to go out there, execute what I got to do and try to go out there and get a win.”
During his suspension, Griffin was prohibited from working out with the team or being at Redskins Park. His workout regiment included running, riding a bike, lifting weights and doing agility and footwork drills.
Shanahan, who said Griffin “looked like he had been away for a few weeks,” mentioned conditioning as the biggest hurdle to the cornerback being in the lineup Sunday against Seattle.
“I’m fine, man. I was a track athlete growing all the way up, so my conditioning has never been a problem for myself,” Griffin said. “Lifting weights has never been a problem. I’m in great shape, to be honest with you. If I get my chance to get out there on the field, I’m sure I’ll get out there and prove it to you guys.”