Perhaps Robert Griffin III's new look can help him sneak onto the field without head coach Mike Shanahan noticing, because that might be the only way the Washington Redskins quarterback sees live game action before the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Griffin showed up to the team's facility on Monday sporting a new cornrow hairstyle, and a growing desire to rejoin his teammates on the field.
"New phase, new hair. Let's do it," Griffin said with words fit for a new ad slogan, if he wasn't affiliated with Adidas.
Griffin has played the good soldier in following the advice of team doctors and the coaching staff in a conservative plan to return him to game action coming off knee surgery. Indications are that Shanahan could keep Griffin out of the entire preseason slate, although it's clear RG3 isn't in agreement with that plan.
"I can't BS that answer. No, I don't like it, but there is some part of it that I do understand," Griffin said. "I don't understand all of it. But at the end of the day, (Shanahan) gave me his word."
Shanahan and Griffin have yet to divulge the full "plan," and the quarterback said he doesn't want to provide any bulletin board material. However, he did admit the rigid nature of the plan doesn't take into account how well he believes his right knee has recovered.
"Basically, the parts that I don't understand is that it's been fixed; the rehab process -- or my reintegration into the team -- have been fixed without any aspect of how I'm doing personally with my knee, with my knee surgery, with my rehab," Griffin said. "It's predetermined and that's the one thing I don't understand.
"But like Coach said -- he's 100 percent right -- I don't have to understand it. I don't have to like it. But at the end of the day, if he plays me Week 1 and I'm ready to go, then I'll give him a salute and I'll go play my butt off for him."
Griffin does expect to participate in 11-on-11 drills Tuesday, the first time he's participated in full team work this preseason.
"Just live-action, getting guys flying at you," Griffin said when asked what he's looking for out of the next step in his rehab. "I don't think it's a huge step. I just think it's time to get back out there with my teammates. I've proven that I can protect myself and (I'm) dang near close to 100 percent. I feel good and now I'm glad that Coach feels the same way."
While 11-on-11 drills isn't live game action and Griffin certainly won't be subject to being hit by defenders, it does enable him to return to the huddle, work on taking snaps and moving with the ball.
"Like I've said, I've been ready for this. I think that's well-documented. I've said it multiple times," he said. "But you've just got to go with whatever Coach does because I'm doing everything they ask me to do."
Shanahan has said the plan for Griffin is laid out on a weekly basis, and it's a positive sign that he hasn't experienced any soreness in his right knee or needed to take a day off through two weeks of training camp.
"I want to play, let's get that straight," Griffin said. "I want to play in the preseason. Coach is just saying that if things go great these next couple of days and next week, then maybe, but it's a hard no right now. It's my job to make that a soft no and possibly a yes.
"But I'm definitely going to push for it. I feel ready to go. The walkthrough was easy, really easy and I feel like I'll be ready to go. We'll see what happens. I'll definitely push for that third game, but who knows what happens."
While Griffin said he doesn't fully understand Shanahan's plan and is pushing to get back on the field, he added there are no lingering issues from being left in the playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks and ultimately injuring his knee further.
"I mean we ironed that out. There's definitely a trust there," Griffin said. "He's expressed regret. Everybody had a little error in what happened in that situation. We've addressed it. We've moved on. This is part of the moving-on process.
"I have to be patient. That's why I call it 'Operation Patience.' You don't always have to like it. You don't always have to know why it's going on. But at the end of the day, God's going to bring me out of this and get me back out there on the field with my teammates where I belong."