Robert Griffin III doesn't expect to play in any of the Washington Redskins' preseason games, but he believes he'll be ready to start in Week 1 of the regular season against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The quarterback has been cleared to practice in the wake of January knee surgery, and he reiterated Wednesday afternoon on the eve of training camp in Richmond that he'll ease into action. Coach Mike Shanahan has indicated he doesn't expect Griffin to play in any of the four preseason games, which begin Aug. 9 at the Tennessee Titans.
Griffin is in agreement with that plan, telling reporters Wednesday he doesn't anticipate game action "unless it's a necessity." He said practice is far more important to his preparation for the season than the four exhibitions on the schedule and he doesn't need game-speed reps to work out his timing with his receivers.
"I don't think the preseason actually matters that much when it comes to that," Griffin said. "I think if you talk to a lot of the vets, they don't even like the preseason. I think you get that timing, those reps, in practice, and that's what I'm going to get later in the preseason, so I look forward to that."
That leaves Kirk Cousins as the likely starter in the preseason, as expected, though Griffin will take more reps with the first team as camp progresses. But Griffin and the Redskins are in no hurry; the quarterback's first words to the media Wednesday preached patience.
"I did all I could in the offseason, working out, rehabbing," he said. "I passed all my tests with Dr. [James] Andrews, with the doctors for the Redskins, and with the coaching staff. They just want to make sure we're not doing anything too soon that we don't have to do. Let some of these other guys get ready for the preseason."
Griffin said he will wear a knee brace throughout the season and he participated in the team's mandatory conditioning test Wednesday.
Asked about the psychological component of his return — potentially not knowing how he'll react to being hit until it happens at full speed — Griffin shrugged it off.
"You can't psych yourself out," he said. "You've kind of got to psych yourself up and say, 'I'm going to be ready.'"
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