QB's status for Sunday still unclear, however

ASHBURN -- Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III practiced and, yes, looked better than he did Wednesday. But what that means for Sunday's game vs. Cleveland remains unknown.

He was able to plant and throw a little better. He executed some stretch zone handoffs, a staple of this offense. Griffin, who has a Grade 1 lateral collateral ligament sprain, still has plenty to show the coaches to convince them he can play. There's a difference between looking better in practice and being able to play.

"If he can't protect himself, then there's no chance of him going out there," Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said.

Said Redskins coach Mike Shan?ahan: "It's better. You can see that he's more comfortable. He was improved over [Wednesday]."

Griffin has proved he can operate an offense without using his legs. But the threat of his legs does open up the attack. The Redskins don't run the zone read option the entire game -- Kyle Shanahan estimated they run the zone-read option only around 10 times per game. But they also throw from that look with success.

"Hopefully he's healthy enough to play. Then you're healthy enough to have the threat of the speed option also," Kyle Shanahan said.

But if he's not able to escape trouble, then Griffin would be put at risk.

"Yeah, Robert's capable of doing anything," Kyle Shanahan said. "And if Robert's healthy enough to play the position and he can protect himself and it won't cause any harm to his knee, then I want him out there, of course.

"I have a lot of confidence in Robert. He tells the truth, and I think he will push himself. Robert's going to be able to show us that he can move well. It's more is his knee stable enough and can he protect himself in there?"