<
>

RG III practices against starters

The decision is out of his hands, but it still lies in his knee.

Quarterback Robert Griffin III continues to show the Washington Redskins, and the doctors, that he will be ready for the Sept. 9 season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.

He inched forward a little more Wednesday by working against the starting defense for the first time in a full practice since last season. Griffin took 49 snaps against the scout team defense last week.

Coach Mike Shanahan said Griffin received work in "a couple of periods" against the starting defense, comparing to how it would have been in organized team activities or minicamp. The Redskins were not in full pads Wednesday, but they did go full speed.

"I'm getting the team reps, and that's what I wanted, and that's what the team needed me to be out there doing," Griffin said. "I feel good. I am confident Coach easing me in has helped, and giving me the extra reps has helped now. My eyes are set on Philly."

Griffin said Dr. James Andrews told him Monday after he examined him before the Redskins played Pittsburgh that his leg looked strong and his movement was good. Andrews' message: Stay the course.

"I've done everything I can," Griffin said. "I can't say it enough times. This is all I can do, and I have to leave it in their hands."

Both Griffin and Shanahan said the quarterback remains on pace to start the opener, barring a setback. Andrews must give him medical clearance to play. He'll examine Griffin after the preseason finale against Tampa Bay on Aug. 29.

If Andrews clears him, it would be Shanahan's decision whether Griffin should play. Andrews did clear Griffin to practice before camp opened; Shanahan still eased him in.

"I would never go against the doctor's orders," Shanahan said. "If the doctor felt he wasn't ready to play, I'm sure I wouldn't want to play him. If Dr. Andrews said to me, 'I don't think Robert's ready,' I'm sure I wouldn't put Robert out there. But if Dr. Andrews could tell me that he is ready and if I thought something was wrong with Robert through our practice, I wouldn't put him out there."

Added Griffin: "For [Andrews], it's just continuing to go out and perform well and not have any swelling or setbacks. For Coach, it's the same thing, but also performing well on the field. That's the goal."

Griffin said he won't change his candor when answering questions. Last week, he answered a reporter's question about Shanahan's plan for him. Griffin admitted he did not like or fully understand the plan.

The next day, Griffin made a statement to shoot down talk of a rift between him and Shanahan. The second-year quarterback said after speaking with several people that he won't change.

"Do I stop being who I am and stop being honest with you guys and give you guys ammunition to turn against this team?" Griffin said. "Or do I go into a shell and Bill Belichick it all week? I'll continue to be who I am."