Redskins coach Jay Gruden: RG3 has chance to play Monday night
Many ifs and maybes and buts surround Robert Griffin III's status for the Washington Redskins' game Monday night against the Dallas Cowboys. There is so much uncertainty, he has been declared a "wild card" by coach Jay Gruden even though Colt McCoy is the announced starter.
Gruden said Wednesday that McCoy remains the starter as of "right now." He also said Griffin has yet to be cleared for full contact, and that he'd like to see Griffin go through a couple of days of rigorous practice once the OK comes from the doctors.
Gruden went on to say that, for the benefit of the team and the coaches' game-planning, he'd like to make a definitive decision by the end of Thursday's practice as to whether McCoy or Griffin will start. He added that Griffin will likely start or be inactive -- and not in uniform as a backup.
That's a lot to digest, and the timeline outlined by the coach doesn't seem to work in Griffin's favor. Or, as Gruden put: "There's a lot of variances as to whether or not we think he'll be ready for Monday night."
Griffin, recovering from a dislocated left ankle injury from Week 2, worked in individual and one-on-one drills during the portion of practice open to reporters Wednesday, usually leading off ahead of McCoy and Kirk Cousins. Griffin appeared fired up by his performance, clapping hard one time after a long completion to Jordan Reed down the left sideline. Another long pass to Logan Paulsen was worth four claps.
Once practice was closed, all three quarterbacks worked with the starters, according to Gruden, who could afford to experiment a little because of the extra day of practice ahead of a Monday night game.
"He did a little bit of everything. First team, second team, third team, he did it all. So did Kirk. So did Colt," Gruden said. "We were alternating. It was just a bonus day for us. ... We'll find out from the trainers how he feels right now, and then tomorrow morning will be the big thing, and another day's work tomorrow. We'll see how he progresses."
Griffin's thoughts on his progress remain unknown. The Redskins have repeatedly declined to make him available to reporters since his injury, including again on Wednesday. A team spokesman said Griffin will make a statement on Friday unless he is named the starter before then.
Some of Gruden's statements are likewise as clear as mud. McCoy is the starter. Or maybe Griffin is.
"I've already made the decision. I've said it's going to be Colt," Gruden said. "I've said Robert will be the wild card, possibly, if he's ready to go, and that still hasn't been decided yet."
Furthermore, said Gruden, Griffin's return date might not be until Nov. 16, following the team's week off.
"If we have to wait for another week, or another two weeks, or after the bye week, then so be it," the coach said.
The incidental -- but important -- player in the Griffin yes-or-no saga is McCoy, who is eager to make his first since 2011. McCoy entered the game at halftime after Cousins was benched on Sunday and led the Redskins (2-5) to a 19-17 win over the Tennessee Titans, breaking the team's four-game losing streak.
"My focus is I'm just going to prepare as the starter," McCoy said. "There's nothing else that I can do. The decision is not up to me."