ASHBURN, VA. (AP) - So much for those last-minute “concerns.” RG3 is starting Week 1.
Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan finally confirmed Monday what has appeared inevitable since the start of training camp: Robert Griffin III will be under center for the season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.
As is fitting with all things Griffin these days, Shanahan couldn’t make the proclamation without leaving a few loose ends of intrigue. The coach refused to disclose the “concerns” that caused him to delay the announcement for several days after the quarterback was medically cleared by Dr. James Andrews.
Nevertheless, Shanahan said Andrews voiced those concerns Sunday in a conference call with Griffin, general manager Bruce Allen and team athletic trainer Larry Hess. The call, the coach, was aimed at “making sure we’re all on the same page.”
Asked why a doctor would clear a player if the doctor had concerns, Shanahan said: “You have to know what his concerns are. I understand that, but I don’t share those conversations, so we’ll have to go from there. You’ll have to trust us that the doctor feels good about it, regardless of what those concerns were.”
Asked if the concerns had to do with how Griffin is used on the field, Shanahan said: “I don’t think a doctor would ever say anything like that if he cleared somebody to play. I’m not sure a doctor would ever say anything that has to do with the strategy of football.”
Shanahan did indicate that the team has learned from last season, when Griffin missed all or part of four games due to various injuries. The general perception is that the read-option offense makes Griffin more vulnerable to injury, even though his injuries came on drop-back passes, usually when trying to scramble.
“You’re always trying to take a look at what’s in the best interest of your football team, obviously the health of your football team as well,” Shanahan said. “But if we didn’t feel like Robert was full-go, and he was ready to play and do all the things that you ask a guy to do, he would not be playing in this game.
“We believe he can do everything that a quarterback is asked to do. And if that’s sprinting out, if it’s running the option, if it’s dropping back, we think he can do all those things because he’s proved it to us in practice and there hasn’t been a setback.”