Quarterback Robert Griffin III was limited in practice Thursday afternoon and Colt McCoy remains in line to start Monday night’s game at the Dallas Cowboys, Redskins coach Jay Gruden said.
Gruden had previously said he would like to announce a starter following Thursday’s practice, both as a means of clarity for his team and for game-planning purposes.
But rather than reveal his plan Thursday afternoon, Gruden instead demurred, saying he won’t announce whether Griffin will be active until the league deadline an hour before kickoff Monday night.
“Robert really hasn’t changed,” Gruden said. “There’s really not a whole lot to say. He’s steadily progressing in drills this week and I’ll make a decision later on.”
Griffin has not been permitted to speak to the media since dislocating his ankle Sept. 14 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team said he will issue a statement Friday but not take questions.
McCoy has been preparing as the starter this week after replacing Kirk Cousins at halftime of Washington’s 19-17 win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. All indications are that McCoy will make his first start for Washington at AT&T Stadium.
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“Colt’s the starter,” Gruden said. “We’re preparing for Colt to be the starter, you know what I mean? But we’re trying to get Robert some reps, get him ready. But right now it looks like odds are Colt will be the starter.”
Griffin has made progress this week in his return from the injury, participating in team drills in his second week of practice. He has a number of benchmarks to reach in order to be considered a candidate to start Monday, Gruden said earlier this week. The third-year quarterback has to first be cleared by team doctors, then express confidence in his health to Gruden before the team makes a decision.
Gruden said Griffin meets daily with head athletic trainer Larry Hess and “he’s been cleared to do just about everything.” But once again, Gruden declined to outline any sort of timetable for his starting quarterback’s return.
“I don’t know when it’s going to happen yet,” he said. “I’m not going to say it’s not going to happen for Monday, but ideally I want him back when he’s ready. That’s all: when he’s physically and mentally ready to go. I don’t care about anything else. We’ll get a good feel from him and the trainers and all that stuff and when it’s time, it’ll be time.”
Though it is unclear when Griffin will return, he will reclaim the starting quarterback role as soon as he is cleared to play. Gruden said as much last week, and reiterated that point Thursday. So no matter how McCoy performs in the interim, there will be no quarterback controversy.
“Ultimately, when it’s all said and done and Robert’s healthy, Robert’s the starter,” Gruden said. “Colt could be the starter Monday night, but when Robert’s healthy, he’ll be the starter. … We just don’t know when that ‘healthy’ will be. Mental healthy, physical healthy, we’ve just got to get him ready.”
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