Redskins: 'Every intent' of starting RG3 on Sunday

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Challenge For RG III: Find Jackson Downfield

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) -- It's time for RG3's latest comeback.

One of the NFL's most dynamic play-makers - and personalities - is set to return Sunday, and the rest of the season could go far in determining his future in the league. Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden made it all but official Thursday when he said he has "every intent" of starting Robert Griffin III against the Minnesota Vikings.

"All systems look like they're go," Gruden said.

Gruden said Griffin is fully recovered from a dislocated left ankle suffered in Week 2 and that the third-year quarterback took most of the first-team snaps in practice ahead of Colt McCoy, who started Monday night's upset over the Dallas Cowboys.

"We feel he's at 100 percent physically right now," Gruden said. "But we still have another day left and to make sure that's the case. All the doctors are on board, the trainers are on board, as far as physically, he looks great."

Gruden again said he wants to make sure Griffin is comfortable running the playbook, including all the new plays and concepts added over the last six weeks.

"I want to see him decisive with the ball, throwing the ball, accuracy, feet in the pocket - very important - make sure he's not jittery, make sure he's not tentative whatsoever with his reads, his decisions," Gruden said. "Make sure he's confident, plays with that confident air that he has that everybody loves moving forward, and (then) we'll make the final decision, but everything looks good so far."

The Redskins did not make Griffin available for comment. He is scheduled to address reporters on Friday.

Starting Griffin over McCoy has its risks in the Redskins' quest to climb out of their early-season hole. Griffin's only game in Gruden's system, which is geared toward making Griffin less of a running quarterback and more of a pocket-passer, was a far-from-inspiring 17-6 loss to the Houston Texans in Week 1.

39 PHOTOS
Robert Griffin III RGIII - Redskins
See Gallery
Redskins: 'Every intent' of starting RG3 on Sunday
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III walks off the field after an injury during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Detroit Lions, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) is examined after an injury during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Detroit Lions, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, left, and teammate Darrel Young (36) watch from the sideline during the fourth quarter of an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Cleveland. The Redskins won 20-17. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III speaks to the media during the teams NFL football training camp in Richmond, Va., Thursday, July 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Jason Hirschfeld)
FILE - In this Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, file photo, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) yells to the front line during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Landover, Md. The player known as RG3 has gone from Heisman Trophy winner and No. 2 overall draft pick to apparent change-the-game sensation and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year to oft-injured and benched. (AP Photo/Richard Lipski, File)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, left, signs an autograph for a fan during an NFL football draft day fan fest Saturday, May 2, 2015, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III smiles on the sideline after the Redskins defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 27-24 in an NFL football game Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
DALLAS, TX. October 27: Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) warmup before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T stadium on October 27, 2014 in Dallas, TX. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX. October 27: Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) talks with Washington Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy (16) on the sidelines during a game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T stadium on October 27, 2014 in Dallas, TX. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX. October 27: Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) greets wide receiver Pierre Garcon (88)after a third quarter touchdown scored by Alfred Morris (46)at AT&T stadium on October 27, 2014 in Dallas, TX. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
DALLAS - OCTOBER 27: Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10), left, germs ready to pass while warming up behind Washington Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy (16) before the game between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys at AT& T Stadium on Monday, October 27, 2014. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX. October 27: Former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner talks with Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) during warmup before the Dallas Cowboys game at AT&T stadium on October 27, 2014 in Dallas, TX. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
DALLAS - OCTOBER 27: Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) before the game between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys at AT& T Stadium on Monday, October 27, 2014. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 27: Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins watches play against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on October 27, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ASHBURN VA, OCTOBER 22: Washington quarterback Colt McCoy (16), center, passes during drills under the eye of head coach Jay Gruden, left, and fellow quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) as the Washington Redskins conduct practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn VA, October 22, 2014 (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
ASHBURN VA, OCTOBER 22: Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) as the Washington Redskins conduct practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn VA, October 22, 2014 (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
ASHBURN VA, OCTOBER 22: Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) as the Washington Redskins conduct practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn VA, October 22, 2014 (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
ASHBURN VA, OCTOBER 22: Washington quarterback Colt McCoy (16), left, and quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) throw passes as the Washington Redskins conduct practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn VA, October 22, 2014 (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 19: Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins works out before the start of a game between the Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins at FedExField on October 19, 2014 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 19: Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins works out before the start of a game between the Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins at FedExField on October 19, 2014 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 19: Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) walks off the field after warm-ups before their game against the Tennessee Titans at FedEx Field on October 19, 2014 in Landover, Md. (Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
ASHBURN VA, OCTOBER 17: Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III during stretching exercises before practice as Griffin works on his comeback at Redskin Park in Ashburn VA, October 17, 2014 (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 12: Quarterback Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins on the sideline during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 12, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Redskins 30-20. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 06: Quarterback Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins and quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks talk to one another following the Seattle Seahawks defeating the Washington Redskins at FedExField on October 6, 2014 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
GLENDALE AZ, OCTOBER 12: Injured Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) warms up on the field before the Washington Redskins play the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale AZ, October 12, 2014 (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) throws and injures his left ankle in front of Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker LaRoy Reynolds (56) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Landover, Md. The Redskins have said he will not return to the game. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) throws and injures his left ankle in front of Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker LaRoy Reynolds (56) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Landover, Md. The Redskins have said he will not return to the game. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) throws and injures his left ankle in front of Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker LaRoy Reynolds (56) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Landover, Md. The Redskins have said he will not return to the game. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) throws and injures his left ankle in front of Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker LaRoy Reynolds (56), second from left is Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Landover, Md. The Redskins have said he will not return to the game. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) is attended to on the sideline after injuring his left ankle during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) leaves the game on a cart after injuring his left ankle during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Landover, Md. The Redskins have said Griffin will not return to the game. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) leaves the game on a cart after injuring his left ankle during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) leaves an NFL football game on a cart after injuring his left ankle during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, center, stands using crutches before speaking at a media availability after an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 41-10. Griffin injured his left ankle. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III hops to the stage for a media availability after the Redskins' NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 41-10. Griffin injured his left ankle. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) runs with the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) passes the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, right, takes a selfie with fans before an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


McCoy, meanwhile, has completed 36 of 42 passes in 1 1/2 games since Kirk Cousins was benched at halftime against the Tennessee Titans and has the Redskins (3-5) on their first winning streak since 2012. The more experienced hand of McCoy could arguably fare better against the complex defensive schemes run by Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.

But Griffin remains the key to Washington's future, and the team needs to see if he can remain healthy after three major leg injuries over six college and NFL seasons, while also determining whether he can develop the all-around game expected of elite quarterbacks. Griffin is currently under contract through 2015, and the Redskins next spring will have to decide whether to exercise a team option for 2016.

"He's played five quarters of football as a starting quarterback for me since I've been here," Gruden said, "and he's got a lot to prove."

Gruden said he won't limit Griffin's mobility with play-calls because of the injury. Griffin's best moves - including bootlegs and the read-option - will be part of the game plan.

"We can't hold back because of any past injuries," Gruden said. "He's got to play the position the way he plays it."

Griffin's return changes the viewpoint from the Vikings defense. In two games vs. Minnesota, he is 41 for 59 for 463 yards, four touchdowns and one interception, along with 20 rushes for 182 yards and two TDs.

"You've got to treat him like an extra running back," Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen said. "We've just got to hit him."

The Redskins have a bye following the Minnesota game, but Gruden said there was no reason to keep Griffin waiting any longer. The quarterback wouldn't gain much practice time during the extra week because teams are mandated to give players at least five days off.

"There's really no benefit to, if he's healthy, to really sitting him and waiting for the bye because it's not like his leg is going to get stronger," Gruden said. "His leg's fine, so, (what) the heck."

The nonstop barrage of RG3 questions was perhaps taking its toll on the first-year coach, but he handled it with humor. Asked if he could just go ahead and declare once and for all that Griffin is starting, Gruden replied: "We have every intent of him of him starting, but, you know, (shoot), who knows?"

After some laughter, he added: "I might just change my mind now and just start Colt for the first play of the game - just to tick everybody off."
Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners