RG3 uncertain for Redskins on Sunday

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Photo - Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III suffered a concussion in Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons. (AP photo)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III suffered a concussion in Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons. (AP photo)
Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

ASHBURN -- Shortly after the Redskins' loss to Atlanta on Sunday, cornerback DeAngelo Hall checked on quarterback Robert Griffin III, who was knocked from the game with a concussion. Hall wanted to make sure he was OK; Griffin just wanted to apologize for not finishing the game.

A day later his teammates had a message for him, delivered by linebacker Lorenzo Alexander:

"You have nothing to prove. We need you for the rest of the season."

Notes
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Strong safety Brandon Meriweather will miss at least four more weeks because of his pregame collision with Aldrick Robinson before the Redskins played at Tampa Bay. Meriweather suffered second- and third-degree tears of his MCL and PCL in his left knee. He had missed the first three games of the season because of similar issues to the same knee. Before training camp, the Redskins had hoped Meriweather and Tanard Jackson would be their starting safeties. But Jackson was suspended indefinitely for drugs, and Meriweather has yet to play. That has left the secondary starting players who projected to be backups.
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The Redskins will work out at least three kickers -- Olindo Mare, Josh Brown and Kai Forbath -- on Tuesday, possibly searching for Billy Cundiff's replacement. Cundiff has missed five of his last eight field goal attempts, and since the start of last season he has made just 71.4 percent of his kicks (35-for-49).
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Coach Mike Shanahan said right tackle Jammal Brown is going through "football-related drills." Brown is on the physically unable to perform list and can't return until after the sixth game. Shanahan said doctors "feel there's a chance for him to be back after the bye week." The Redskins have a bye Nov.?11.

But the Redskins won't find out whether they will have him even for Sunday's game vs. Minnesota until perhaps later in the week. Griffin visited a neurologist Monday. Coach Mike Shanahan said Griffin must perform cardio exercises Tuesday -- running on a treadmill -- and then not show any symptoms of a concussion. If that happens, he will be cleared to practice Wednesday, provided there is no contact.

But he still will be monitored throughout the week to make sure the symptoms don't return.

"He's feeling good: no dizziness, no headaches, no vomiting," Shanahan said.

That was a point echoed by teammates. Backup quarterback Kirk Cousins said he spoke with Griffin at a rookie function in the building.

"He seems fine. He seems in good spirits. He appears to be doing well," Cousins said.

"He'll be fine," backup quarterback Rex Grossman said. "He seemed like he was fine after the game. He's tough. He'll fight through it and probably play, but I don't know. ... [But] anytime anyone has a head injury, you never know how they're feeling."

Griffin was knocked from the Redskins' 24-17 loss with just under 6:20 remaining when linebacker Sean Weatherspoon drilled him as he started to slide. It was a third-and-goal from the 3-yard line, and Griffin, chased from the pocket, had no chance to score on the play. He could have run out of bounds, thrown the ball away or slid sooner.

"When a quarterback gets that first hit like he received, they slide a little bit sooner in plays that come," Shanahan said. "They kind of protect themselves a little bit more. That's a process, a learning experience."

Griffin has been hit hard at least once in each of the past three games, though the Redskins did not call any designed runs for him Sunday. The only time he was credited with a run came on a bootleg.

Griffin's ability to extend plays in the red zone makes him invaluable. But running in the red zone can be complicated.

"Everything happens so fast in the red zone," Grossman said. "Lanes close quick, and you think you might be able to run it in there, and all of a sudden they're scraping over the top and knocking you out."

Griffin suffered a concussion in a game last November while playing for Baylor. He returned to the game shortly after the hit and ran for a 3-yard touchdown. But he did not play in the second half of that 66-42 win over Texas Tech. And he played the following week.

"He is very competitive like most young quarterbacks are," Shanahan said. "You want to make every first down, and you want to extend every play to the last second. Part of that is knowing that we have to have you out there, so these quarterbacks learn in time when to slide. Now if it is the Super Bowl or you are going for a playoff win, then you take some of those chances. But part of the process is staying healthy and obviously being out there for your teammates. And it was a learning experience for Robert."

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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John Keim

Staff Reporter - Washington Redskins
The Washington Examiner