INJURY UPDATE from Rich Campbell:
London Fletcher (left ankle) didn't practice Wednesday, though that's nothing out of the ordinary for the veteran linebacker with an active NFL record consecutive games played streak of 237.
Left tackle Trent Williams (left thigh bruise) was a limited participant like Griffin. Asked how he was holding up with the injury, Williams responded slyly, “I'm holding up.”
Wide receiver Pierre Garcon (right foot) participated fully in practice and continues to progress toward a hundred percent.
“As time goes on it gets better, but there's no real significant thing that's different from Monday to Tuesday or Sunday to Thursday or game to game,” Garcon said. “Sometimes you feel better, sometimes back and forth.”
Cornerback DeAngelo Hall (right ankle) appeared to bounce back from Sunday's game OK.:
“Little banged up, but it's a process,” Hall said. “Ain't none of us fully healthy right now.”
And the big one -- the one you're waiting for? RG3 isn't telling:
During his nearly 13-minute news conference, Griffin declined to say whether he would play. Part of it is gamesmanship. Coach Mike Shanahan, when asked whether he would drag this out even if he already knew Griffin's status, said, "Probably."
"I don't want to give the Cleveland Browns a competitive advantage," Griffin said. "I don't want to let anybody down. I don't want to say I'll be playing and then end up not playing.
"I feel I can push through any kind of injury. Does that mean I'll play Sunday? Who knows? We'll see what happens. I want to be out there for those guys like I told them I would be."
You may have noticed that Robert Griffin III has black skin. The subject of RG3's race has not come up much in the media and I don't recall having any lengthy discussions about it with my friends. However, that might be because I'm white. African-American fans of the Redskins may well be far more focused on Griffin's race than I am, since they may be understandably proud of the success RG3 is having and anticipating that, for the first time in its history, the Washington Redskins may have a long-term quarterback who is African-American. In any case, Griffin discusses his thoughts on being a black QB with Dave Sheinin. Here's a bit:
“For me, you don’t ever want to be defined by the color of your skin,” Griffin said. “You want to be defined by your work ethic, the person that you are, your character, your personality. That’s what I strive [for]. I am an African American, in America, and that will never change. But I don’t have to be defined by that.” ...
“They’re always going to try to put you in a box with other African American quarterbacks: [Michael] Vick, [Cam] Newton, Randall Cunningham, Warren Moon,” Griffin said. “But there are guys like… Warren Moon and Doug Williams who really didn’t run that much. I think that’s the negative stereotype when it comes to African American quarterbacks, that [all they do is] run. But those guys threw it around, and I like to think I can throw it around a little bit. And that’s the goal — not to go out and prove anybody wrong, but just to let your talent speak for itself.”
My view of Griffin is that he a very smart, mature young man, whose thoughtfulness may sometimes be hidden behind a genial personality and a million dollar smile. This makes me think my estimation of him has been correct.
Speaking of being a mobile quarterback, RG3 does not believe his style of play makes him more injury-prone:
“That play can happen to anybody,” Griffin said Wednesday. “It wasn’t like I was waiting to get down until the last second like I did against Atlanta or anything like that. My leg came up and [Haloti Ngata] hit my leg. That was an unfortunate part of it.
“People need to realize football is a physical sport and there are a lot of quarterbacks out there that aren’t necessarily the runners that aren’t playing right now because of injury,” Griffin continued. “It’s not just because I’m a little bit athletic and can move around that I’m prone to injuries. There are a lot of quarterbacks out there that are getting hurt that don’t move around a lot. I tried to get down. As soon as I turned in, I knew there were a lot of Ravens coming at me. It was just unfortunate. I’ll continue to play safe, play the way I have and play aggressive.”
Kirk Cousins talks about learning from his earlier outing against Atlanta and from Robert Griffin III:
“That’s a play where you watch Robert earlier in the game, roll to his right and throw a touchdown pass to Josh Morgan,” Cousins said. “Who knows, but maybe…after seeing that happen many times and watching Robert create whether it’s a practice or a game, you start to see that on film quite a bit and in your own way you try to emulate that maybe a little bit more than when you’re backing up a guy who doesn’t do that often. I think just seeing how Robert plays, watching a quarterback in front of you play at a high level, benefits me because I’m learning from a guy who is doing it the right way.”
By the way, Kirk's phone blew up after he finished the comeback last Sunday.
Tom Boswell writes that RG3 is the sort of athlete that makes us all hold our breath -- out of awe and concern.
Washington (7-6) probably can't afford to lose any of its final three games. Even with a 10-6 record, it might not reach the postseason.
The Redskins paid heavily to draft Griffin to win a championship someday. Well, that day might be now. If Washington sweeps into the playoffs with seven straight wins, it has a fair chance to win it all.
You always sacrifice the future for the present. Win today, worry tomorrow and apologize never.
Marty Gitlin writes that the 5-8 Cleveland Browns -- winners of 3 straight and 5 of their last 8 -- are just as hot as the Skins. There is something to that, but the Browns have wins over the 2-11 Chiefs, the 3-10 Raiders, the 7-6 Steelers [playing without QB Ben Roethlisberger] and the 5-8 Chargers. They have one unambiguously good win, which was a 34-24 victory over the 7-6 Cincinnati Bengals. [Recall the Bengals defeated the Redskins in FedEx Field 38-31 back in week three.]
Mark Schlereth, who played for the Redskins in the early 1990s and the Broncos [and Mike Shanahan] later -- and won three Super Bowls with the teams -- had some nice things to say about the Redskins offense. So did former Giants QB Phil Simms:
“There is not one team right now in the NFC that wants that team in the playoffs,” Mark Schlereth said on ESPN Radio Wednesday morning. “You can’t defend them right now. When RGIII is right, and they’ve got that play-action game going, and they’re running that zone-option read stuff, you can’t defend them. You can’t pass rush, you play on your heels, you’re running up on play-action and you leave wide-open chasms behind you.
“There is not one team right now that looks at the Washington Redskins and goes, boy, I’d like to play those guys,” he concluded. “There is not one team. They are a NIGHTMARE for any defensive coordinator right now.”
CBS analyst Phil Simms agreed.
“The play designs and the playcalling, all that by Kyle Shanahan has been tremendous,” he told Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 The Fan. “Does anybody want to face that offense and all the variables they’ve got going on right now?”