The Washington Times - June 6, 2013, 02:32PM

Redskins RB Roy Helu Jr. practiced Thursday in front of reporters for the first time since he went on injured reserve with a left toe injury last Sept. 26. Foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson cleared him to return to practice on Wednesday.

“It definitely has been a long time [since] feeling this healthy,” Helu said.

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The toe injury, which followed a bout of left Achilles’ tendinitis, limited Helu to only two carries and two rushing yards last season. It was a major disappointment following a promising rookie year that included 640 rushing yards, 379 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

“It’s fun to have him out there,” Shanahan said. “Hopefully he keeps on getting better and better. In the meantime, we have a guy that weighs 225 pounds [the Redskins list Helu at 215]. He’s under that 4.5 40, has the receiving skills and the opportunity to make the big play. So it’s good to have him back and a chance to compete.”

QB Robert Griffin III (right knee) did similar throwing drills to those we’ve seen the last two weeks. He moved smoothly rolling to his right at a brisk pace on a keeper. He ran long sprints after his throwing work. Afterwards, he limped slightly but noticeably.

“Larry [Hess, head athletic trainer] told me that coming out here,” Griffin said. “I asked him if he was joking because he does joke like that a lot, about me limping, but I didn’t feel like I was limping. Wasn’t sore at all. I did think he was joking, but he said he was serious and some people were saying they thought I was limping, but, nah, I wasn’t.”

S Jordan Pugh (ear infection) was absent, just as he was last Thursday.

“They won’t let him travel,” Shanahan said.

TE Fred Davis (left Achilles’ tendon) won’t participate in next week’s mandatory minicamp as a precaution.

“He might be able to go next week, but I’m going to keep him away even if he wants to go,” Shanahan said. “I like what I see on a day-to-day basis. You can see the explosion. I just don’t want him to push against anybody right now. I just don’t want to take that chance when he has an extra month-and-a-half recovery time. And so we won’t push it. But if we were playing next week, I think he might be able to go.”

CB Chase Minnifield (right knee) practiced earlier this week but sat out Thursday to recover.

Note below what Shanahan said about Minnifield working back from a knee injury. It gives you an idea about how he might treat QB Robert Griffin III during training camp.

“He didn’t ask to be out, but we practiced him yesterday. Anytime a guy comes off a knee injury, we like him to practice when he’s OK’d, but we don’t want to overdo it, especially when we’ve got a month and a half for recovery time. He’s going to practice next week on Tuesday, and we’ll probably give him Wednesday off as well.”

TE Deangelo Peterson, a long shot to make the roster, broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during Wednesday’s practice. That injury commonly takes four to six weeks from which to recover.

“Not sure how long it’s going to be right now,” Shanahan said. “There’s some swelling.”