After Robert Griffin III took hits on six of the eight times he dropped back to pass on Thursday against the Lions many fans and many in the media questioned the wisdom of Jay Gruden leaving Griffin in the game for as long as he did.
The first-team offense, which included journeyman Willie Smith in place of Pro Bowler Trent Williams at left tackle, played 16 snaps over the course of four drives. They mustered just one first down. Griffin completed just two of five passes and took three sacks.
When he left the game apparently injured after fumbling the ball away at the end of that fourth series most assumed that it would have been Griffin’s last series even if he had walked of the field healthy. But according to Gruden Griffin would have been sent back out for at least a fifth series, perhaps even more.
“I would have gone [with the starting offense] more [on Thursday], to be honest with you,” said Gruden. “We need the work. We absolutely need the work whether he takes one shot or 10 shots. We have to get our offense going.”
He will not consider pulling the starters out of the game this Saturday even if they are having a rough time again.
“We were a 4-12 football team last year and for us to rest our starters after one series in a preseason game is to me not right,” he said. “We need the practice. So we’re going to try to get as much as we can, being that [Griffin is] cleared, if he is cleared against Baltimore. I anticipate a good football game in that first half a very great challenge from Baltimore.”
Griffin appeared to participate in practice normally today after Gruden announced after the Lions game that he had sustained a concussion. Gruden said that Griffin had been cleared to do non-contact work during practice. Since a quarterback normally wears a yellow, non-contact jersey during practice, Griffin could go through normal activities without taking a hit.
RELATED: RG3 fully participating in practice