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Shanahan: Griffin III Won't Be Rushed Back

Posted Apr 9, 2013

Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan spoke with the NFL Network earlier this week on QB Robert Griffin III's recovery, the read-option offense and offseason workouts.

Redskins head coach spoke to the NFL Network earlier this week, offering encouraging news on the rehabilitation and timeline for franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III.

“[Griffin III] is over at the facility rehabbing all the time,” Shanahan said with a smile. “He’s going to set a record for coming back because that’s how hard he works.”

Griffin III is recovering from reconstructive surgery on a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and lateral collateral ligament (LCL), a process that can take upwards of a full year for some athletes.

Shanahan, Griffin III and team physician Dr. James Andrews have stayed in the headlines this offseason by offering remarkable updates that put Griffin III ‘way ahead of schedule.’

While Shanahan did not commit to a timeline for his return to game action, there are hopes that his recovery will parallel that of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who started Week 1 of last season after less than nine months of recovery.

“[Griffin III] is ahead [of schedule], but there’s a process that takes time,” Shanahan said. “Robert is doing it the right way and we’ll find out in July exactly where he’s at.”

Griffin III originally injured his LCL in Week 14 vs. the Baltimore Ravens, suffering a Grade 2 strain that held him out of the Week 15 contest.

By injuring the same knee one month later, critics suggested Griffin III was rushed back from injury and may not have been 100 percent. Shanahan assured the NFL Network that this will not happen again.

“He will not come back until he is 100 percent,” Shanahan said of Robert Griffin III. “And he will be at that 100 percent level again, it’s just a matter of when.

“I don’t think anybody knows that until he goes out on a practice field and we can evaluate him on a day-to-day level.”

Shanahan reiterated that second-year quarterback Kirk Cousins will take all offseason reps with the starting unit, setting him up as the first option if Griffin III is unable to open the season.

“You’re hoping [Griffin III]’s ready, but you can’t really plan for him to be ready,” he said. “Robert [Griffin III] will have a lot of reps, but it will be mental.

“He’ll be in the film room watching people on the practice field during his rehab, but you can get a lot done mentally as well.”

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Redskins Will Keep The Read-Option

Shanahan also addressed what can be done to protect Griffin III moving forward, but said changing the offensive scheme was not in anyone’s best interests.

“I think when most people take a look at Robert, they say ‘oh, you can’t run the option,’” Shanahan said. “People don’t realize that the option protects the quarterback.

“The thing I have to get with Robert is when to slide, when not to take a hit.”

Griffin III took several colossal hits last season, including a head shot in the Week 5 game against the Atlanta Falcons and his aforementioned blow to the knee vs. the Ravens.

Shanahan credited his quarterbacks’ competitive spirit, but maintained his long-term approach.

“These quarterbacks are so competitive, but they don’t realize sometimes how valuable they are to your franchise.”

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