- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 29, 2015

BALTIMORE — Jay Gruden attempted to clarify the confusion over Robert Griffin III’s medical status on Saturday, saying after the Washington Redskins’ preseason victory over the Baltimore Ravens that he, too, was confused as to how the quarterback could be cleared to play one day and overruled the next.

Gruden, the Redskins’ coach, said it wasn’t until Friday afternoon, following the team’s annual walkthrough at Joint Base Andrews, that he received word Griffin would not be able to play against the Ravens.

“We had a verbal from the independent doctor that [Griffin] was cleared, and this has nothing to do with the Washington Redskins, believe me,” Gruden said. “We continued to prepare and we went through the walkthrough at the Air Force base, and then our doctor got a call and got the e-mail and read the report and it was different, so we, obviously, had to sit him down, unfortunately.

“It had nothing to do with our doctors, had nothing to do with our trainers. It was a league-mandated independent doctor. There was a lot of confusion there. I read the report and hell, I was confused, so we did what we thought was right and that’s not play Robert, based on reports and findings and all of that.”

Griffin was originally cleared on Thursday night, with the team making the announcement that he would be able to play in the game on Saturday. No more than 24 hours, it reversed course, with an independent neurologist, Robert N. Kurtzke, who is based in Fairfax, Virginia, ruling that an additional review of Griffin’s neurological testing presented additional concerns.

“I know people want to make it out that we’re incompetent, but we’re not,” Gruden said. “This has nothing to do with us. This is a totally independent doctor, a verbal thing he said with our doctor, and then all of a sudden, the written statement was different. The written report was different, so we followed proper course. We did what we thought was right for Robert and what the report said, and we followed everything by the book.”

Griffin, who sustained the concussion in the second quarter of a preseason game against the Detroit Lions on Aug. 20, did not stop to talk with reporters upon leaving the Redskins’ locker room on Saturday.

He went through his typical individual warm-up routine before the game, throwing passes to a variety of players and equipment managers and working under the eye of quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh roughly two and a half hours before the game began.

Griffin is still expected to be the Redskins’ starting quarterback when they open the season on Sept. 13 against the Miami Dolphins. Gruden didn’t want to address any speculation about that on Saturday, citing the recency of Griffin’s injury and the uncertainty of his health.

“We’ve got to really evaluate the tape,” Gruden said. “We have to find out how Robert is. He’s going to go through the protocol some more and be re-tested at the end of the week, probably Thursday or Friday, and see how he’s doing, and maybe make our decision then.”

• Zac Boyer can be reached at zboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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