As the Redskins suffered their fourth straight loss and while Kirk Cousins threw multiple interceptions in a quarter for the second time in three games, Robert Griffin III watched from the sideline.
Griffin, who has been sidelined since suffering a dislocated ankle in the first quarter of the second game of the season against Jacksonville, did some conditioning on the field prior to the game and was running full-speed sprints from sideline to sideline. This comes after a week where the third-year QB was seen by reporters performing agility drills during the early part of practice, moving well and without a hint of a limp.
With the team falling to 0-4 in Cousins’ starts, the question of when Griffin will be back is starting to get asked by fans and the media. The calls to get Griffin, who led the team to its only division title in the last 15 years as a rookie in 2012, are getting louder and louder.
A week ago, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Griffin could return as early as the Dallas game on October 27. That game is two weeks from today. Other reports popped up, indicating that such a speedy comeback, which would be six weeks after the injury, was overly ambitious and that a return sometime after the Redskins’ bye week is more likely.
Two days later, Redskins coach Jay Gruden was asked about the possibility of Griffin taking on some work during practice.
“I don’t think so. I don’t think he’ll take any practice reps,” said Gruden. “I think his increased workload will come in the training room as far as without the boot and maybe some running or maybe some treadmill work or what have you, and I’m sure the trainer has a scheduled course of events for him and as he gains more and more confidence and more and more strength. Maybe we’ll get him out there when the time is right, but I don’t envision that anytime soon.”
After another loss and another multi-interception game by Cousins, you have to wonder if the “right” time is right now.
Of course, the number one thing to consider is the health of Griffin’s injured ankle. Doing agility drills and even sprinting full speed in a straight line across the field have a much lower level of stress on an ankle than does playing in an actual NFL game. From the outside we can’t tell if Griffin’s left ankle is ready to withstand the rigors of preparing for and playing in an NFL game at this point.
If he’s not, he will remain sidelined regardless of how well or how poorly Cousins is playing. But if he can take some practice snaps without risking any sort of a setback to the ankle, it would not be surprising to see him doing some limited work in practice this week.
It seems unrealistic to think that Griffin will be able to play this Sunday against the Titans, five weeks after the injury. But if he can get some practice in this week and ramp it up next week, Griffin could play against Dallas.
Please note the “ifs” and “coulds” there. It’s a very fluid situation. But it’s possible that Griffin’s return was once on a slow roll and it’s now on the fast track. We will see how things develop.