Redskins optimistic RG3 will play vs. Eagles

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

If there's no swelling Thursday, rookie expected to be on field

ASHBURN -- Robert Griffin III dropped back to pass, executed a few handoffs and rolled out to throw -- just like he did at the end of last week. The difference: It continued throughout the rest of practice. And that's why there's optimism he will play Sunday at Philadelphia.

Griffin was a full participant in practice after being limited all of last week. The last remaining hurdle appears to be how his knee holds up after a full workout. Doctors were on the sidelines Wednesday monitoring Griffin's knee and will evaluate him throughout the week.

"Hopefully there's no swelling. You just don't know," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. "They'll look at it [Thursday], and hopefully it's full-go. I'm not sure when they're going to make that decision."

But a week ago at this time, the Redskins had a good idea that Griffin would not be able to play vs. Cleveland. Griffin suffered a Grade ?1 sprain in the 31-28 overtime win vs. Baltimore on Dec. 8.

That led to a week of speculation, but considering he was not going 100 percent, it was hard for the Redskins to feel confident in his chances. But Wednesday was different. Even Griffin said he had a little extra energy after missing last week.

"Last week he was moving good, too, but he did look good today and looked pretty close to full speed," Shanahan said.

Griffin said his knee does not feel weak or unstable.

"[Wednesday] was very encouraging for me, the doctors, everybody," Griffin said. "It's been a gradual improvement. It takes rest and time. I've got all my strength.

"I just have to prove to them on the field. When I'm out here running around doing all the plays and getting the reps, that's when they'll see. It's just up to them to decide."

Yes, Griffin said he's hopeful about Sunday.

"I always expect to play," he said. "I'm ready to play whenever they want me to play. If it's this week, next week, a couple weeks, whatever they say goes. I'll be ready."

Griffin admitted he was upset about not playing vs. the Browns. Of course, that's what the coaches want to hear.

"It is frustrating," Griffin said. "Players play. I told them ... when they told me I wouldn't play that I'd be upset. But once we step on the field, I was all for this team and all for Kirk [Cousins]. That's the way you have to approach it. You don't take those things to the field and try to become a cancer or a distraction to the team. You support the team."

If Griffin can't play, then Cousins would make his second start. In his first start, Cousins completed 26 of 37 passes for 329 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Once more, his approach hasn't changed.

"He's getting stronger every day," Cousins said of Griffin, "but I'm still approaching it like I may have an opportunity to play."

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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John Keim

Staff Reporter - Washington Redskins
The Washington Examiner