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.
“That’s a decision the powers that be will make,” Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. “But if he can’t protect himself then there’s no chance of him going out there.”
Griffin has proven that 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 — Shanahan estimated they only run the zone read option 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,” 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,” 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. And I know he wants to be out there. But I think it comes down to will he hurt himself more and can he protect himself.”
As for the play in which he got hurt, running back Evan Royster failed to pick up the blitzing linebacker. But that’s the danger of living in the pocket: Griffin was in jeopardy.
“If he got hurt I wish he didn’t do it. But you can’t decide that. Hindsight is 20-20. It’s the biggest game of the year and we’re playing for the playoffs,” Shanahan said. “It’s at the end of the game, a two-minute drive. Robert, in a normal situation I hope he stays out of bounds. But he’s doing everything he can to win the game there. Definitely have no problem with that.”