Sitting out preseason games, though, will leave an element of his psychological recovery until the regular season. He won’t know for sure how his knee will respond to eluding tacklers and getting hit at game speed.
“Getting to 100 percent is getting back out there on the field, getting out there with the guys, making football-like movements, because you can’t mimic those,” he said. “You can’t mimic instincts, when a guy’s pass-rushing you. You can’t really mimic what you’re going to do.”
But that’s the trade-off for being smart about these final days of his recovery. As soon as Griffin crumpled to the mangled FedEx Field turf in January, this never was going to be a perfect situation. That uncertainty is part of the downside.
Griffin’s willingness to accept that burden entering the regular season is a promising sign for these Redskins. He is putting his long-term health, which coincides with the team’s best interest, ahead of any short-term anxiety he might have. It’s a sacrifice that exudes leadership.
By doing so, he’s extending a hand to Shanahan.
“I am an overachiever,” Griffin said, “but I want to make this decision as easy for everybody as possible.”
Easy decisions — what a concept. Harmony is a critical step toward victory, so training camp is off to a productive start.