Less than six months after undergoing surgery to repair multiple torn ligaments in his right knee, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin believes he'll be ready for the start of training camp.
"Without a doubt," Griffin said of being ready for training, via Mike Jones of the Washington Post. "One, it’s a mind-set, and two, it’s how I felt and how it’s progressed."
Griffin was planting and throwing during the first week of the Redskins' OTAs. The goal was for Griffin to be ready for his team's Sept. 9 season-opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, but the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year feels he's made enough progress that he's set his sights on being back on the field much sooner.
"Over the last three weeks, I’ve had a lot of progress and I feel a lot better. If you think training camp is a month, month-and-a-half away, two months, I feel really good about that. And the start of the season is even farther than that, so I feel good about that, and that’s why I say, 'without a doubt'."
Griffin acknowledged last month that he needed to work on "explosive sprinting" and "cutting" before he could play. According to Jones, Griffin has made progress on his explosive sprints and is moving and throwing during his workouts.
"I’m throwing on the run a lot more, doing a lot more planting out of the play-action – the type of throws we do in our offense," Griffin said. "That’s the encouraging part. I also bumped up the long-distance running, as you all saw today. I ran a little bit more. That’s all good. I’m feeling more comfortable doing everything, and coaches are saying I look a lot better – when they do get to chance to sneak a peek in there. They say I look a lot more comfortable throwing the ball, I look relaxed and it shows."
As much as Griffin wants to be on the field in late July, it is more important to the Redskins, as well as Griffin's bright future, to not rush things. Fortunately for Griffin, and for head coach Mike Shanahan (who was criticized for how the team handled Griffin's injury last season), the final decision on when Griffin is cleared to play will be made by the team's medical staff.
"I don’t think anyone knows for sure. I like that goal," Shanahan said of Griffin being ready for camp. "You always want somebody to have goals, that’s for sure. You want him to come back, assuming he’s ready to go, but the doctor’s got to okay him. From the beginning, they talked about the recovery time being seven months to nine months. I think Aug. 9 is seven months, so we’ll just have to wait and see."