Good news for Washington Redskins fans -- on Monday morning, quarterback Robert Griffin tweeted out the news you've all been waiting to hear.
Doctors cleared me to practice. Coach is going to ease me in. Thank you for your support & See you in Richmond
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) July 22, 2013
The Redskins report to training camp at Richmond, Va. this week. Griffin, who suffered several knee injuries in his rookie season, underwent surgery to repair the lateral collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments in his right knee on Jan. 8. All reports have been positive along the way concerning his recovery, which makes sense in an era where Adrian Peterson can break the 2,000-yard mark less than a year after his own knee surgery.
Mike Jones of the Washington Post recently spoke with a source close to the situation who told him that Griffin had done everything possible to maximize his recovery, and that things were looking good. Still, the deciding voice would belong to renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who performed the January surgery, and is a consultant with the team. Apparently, the decision has been made, and Griffin, in his own words, has a reasonably clean bill of health.
“When the doctors feel like he’s ready to go, we’re going to get a chance to practice him. We’ll see what he can do,” Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said in June. “I don’t think anybody knows, though. We talk about this question every day and nobody knows for sure, but we’re trying on July 24th or 25th, in that area, and we’ll find out.”
Of course, the next question is how the Redskins will alter Griffin's approach -- he was hit a lot last season in situations where he was trying to extend plays, as opposed to designed runs out of any sort of read-option or Pistol package. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has said that not much will change, but Mike Shanahan said at the 2013 owners meetings that Griffin will have to learn to better avoid tackles and when it's best to throw the ball away and live to play another down, so to speak.
The good news for those worried about Griffin's ability to operate as a pure pocket passer is that he was, per Football Outsiders' game-charting metrics, the most efficient quarterback in the NFL last year when taking the ball from under center. Griffin doesn't need to run around and put himself at risk all the time, because he's so conversant with play-action, and because the Redskins use their backs and tight ends in so many different ways.
It will be fascinating to see just how Griffin's game changes, and how the Redskins progress as an offense with Griffin at the controls. At the very least, he's cleared a major medical hurdle.