The New Orleans Saints tackled quarterback Robert Griffin III or contacted him to the ground 13 times during the Washington Redskins' 40-32 victory Sunday. Three days after taking that punishment, Griffin felt OK.
“In college, I used to take the whole night off after a game and just kind of let my body gain that soreness,” Griffin said. “But after the game, we flew back and I got in the cold tub right away to try and get on top of that recovery because it is a long season. I actually feel pretty good … legs felt good, body doesn’t feel too sore.”
Griffin tried to be judicious about when he took hits. On the second play of the game, he kept a zone read, ran around the right edge for 12 yards and then slid when defenders approached.
But when Griffin needed every yard he could get on a third-and-14 scramble in the fourth quarter, he juked back inside and lowered his shoulder as defensive lineman Junior Galette tackled him instead of running out of bounds. Griffin gained 12 yards on the play.
Coach Mike Shanahan is mindful of the dangers involved in exposing Griffin to contact, but he feels comfortable calling runs for Griffin because he proved in college he knows how to preserve his body as a runner.
“Remember, the option is, at least the intent of the option is, to not have the quarterback carry the ball,” Shanahan said. “But when he does carry the ball, like you saw in the game, he carried it for  yards and knew when to slide and not take those shots.”
And just because players are faster and bigger in the NFL doesn’t mean Griffin is ill-equipped to handle professional tacklers.
“Everyone wants to compare everything to college — getting hit is getting hit,” he said. “It’s going to hurt whether it’s a 300-pound guy or a 290-pound guy. These guys are really good at tackling in the NFL, and they’re good at tackling in college. The NFL is the best of the best, so I’m not going to say college guys hit harder. Everybody hits. I feel good.”
Garcon’s status unclear
Receiver Pierre Garcon was “very limited” in practice Thursday afternoon as he continues to work back from the right foot injury he suffered last Sunday against New Orleans, Shanahan said. His status for this week’s game against the St. Louis Rams is undetermined.
“It’s just sore,” Shanahan said. “Getting treatment on it. Got a little work in today, some drill work, so that was encouraging. We’ll see tomorrow how it is.”
Garcon would not answer questions other than shouting, “Feelin’ good! Feelin’ good!” as he walked past reporters coming off the practice field.
Shanahan said Garcon is not at risk of doing greater damage to his foot. It’s a pain tolerance issue, he said.
Safety Brandon Meriweather (left knee) did not practice. Everyone else fully participated.
Lichtensteiger on his comeback
Guard Kory Lichtensteiger missed the preseason after having arthroscopic surgery to remove particles from his right knee. But there was no doubt last week that he would play without restriction for the Redskins at New Orleans.
Afterward, he wasn’t feeling 100 percent but was glad to get a full game in.
“After the game I felt like I got by a piano,” Lichtensteiger said. “I never at one point during the game felt like I need to come out or felt like anything was too stressing on the knee. So I was pleased with the way I came out with it.”
Lichtensteiger rated his performance as “OK.”
“I felt like, probably like the rest of the team, I could’ve been better,” he said. “But we got the win I don’t think there was ever a plan of that. If that would’ve happened, it would’ve been news to me and it wouldn’t have been good news. I felt good enough to play,” he said. “It wouldn’t have been ideal.”