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Shanahan won't repeat mistake

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Shanahan won't repeat mistake

RICHMOND—The last time that there were questions about the health of the right knee of Robert Griffin III the quarterback told the coach that he could play on it. The coach believed him and let him play.

That was seven months ago today during the Redskins’ playoff game against the Seahawks. The result, of course, was catastrophic. The injury went from bad to worse and, finally, about as bad as it could be.

Shanahan may have made a mistake last January but at this point you have to believe that he has learned from it. As Griffin is being kept out of team work during training camp, the quarterback is saying he’s fine. Shanahan is saying, not so fast.

“I’m ready to move on,” said Griffin, saying that he has gotten has much as he can out of individual drills and seven on seven passing.

At the end of that sound bite in his Monday morning press conference, Griffin acknowledged that Shanahan has different ideas. “Coach will tell you something else,” he said.

And in the afternoon, Shanahan did say something different.

“We do have a plan for him. He may not always like that plan, but that’s my job sometimes not to be liked,” he said. “My job is to do the best thing for him. That’s what I’ll do.”

One might say that it seems like Shanahan is holding back Griffin just to show him who’s boss. And there may be an element of that here. But there are plenty of other reasons to limit Griffin’s practice activities:

—Medical: The prescribed recovery period for an injury of the type that Griffin sustained is seven to nine months. Griffin won’t hit the seven-month mark since his surgery until Friday. They don’t just make these numbers up; they are based on thousands of cases and many years of experience. While Griffin has constantly been “ahead of schedule”, it seems like keeping him out of drills involving contact at least until he hits that seven-month mark is a prudent course of action.

—Football: There is plenty of time for Griffin to get ready for the season opener. The prime time contest against the Eagles is four weeks from Monday. If Griffin gets in four good weeks of work he’ll be good to go. Even three weeks is probably enough. So a lack of preparation time is not an issue at this point and it won’t be for another two weeks or so.

—PR: Griffin said yesterday that there was a public relations element in his practice schedule. “Obviously with this situation and what we have to deal with here and the DMV and D.C., there is a lot of scrutiny, so Coach also has to account for that,” he said. Griffin’s injury is a topic that transcends the sports universe. It’s headline news. And there is going to be a public relations element in the way that it’s handled. And that’s fine as long as PR is just a factor in decisions and not driving them. Here we have a case where the football and medical considerations align perfectly with what makes for good PR.

All of this makes it easy for Shanahan to hold Griffin back and send the message that any mistakes made in the future will come from being overly cautious and not from taking Griffin’s word that he is good to go.

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Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

The Redskins made a couple of roster moves just before departing for Arizona to play the Cardinals.

They signed cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad and cut offensive tackle Blaine Clausell. The Redskins also waived safety David Bruton Jr. off of injured reserve.

Phillips was the Redskins’ nickel corner for the first three games of the season, and he made four tackles and recovered a fumble. But they moved rookie Kendall Fuller up into the slot corner role in Week 4 and Phillips spent several weeks on the inactive list before being waived on November 12 and added to the practice squad three days later.

The moves became known after Redskins coach Jay Gruden had spoken to the media for the day so we can only speculate as to the reasoning behind them. Actually, the release of Clausell isn’t hard to figure out. He was signed after Trent Williams started his four-game suspension and with Williams set to return on Monday and the other options at backup tackle healthy there was no point in keeping him around.

Phillips is likely going to Arizona as an insurance policy. The Cardinals like to spread the field with a lot of wide receivers. They will want to have five cornerbacks active. They do have Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, and Greg Toler. But Breeland is listed as questionable with an ankle injury and they Redskins don’t want to take any chance of being caught short-handed at cornerback if he suffers a setback. That’s especially true when they don’t need to bring an extra tackle along.

Depending on how things shake out injury-wise against the Cardinals there is a good chance that we could see Phillips on the waiver wire once again as a roster spot will be needed for Williams.

Bruton started the first four games of the season at safety before going on injured reserve with a concussion. This past offseason he signed a three-year, $9 million free agent contract with $3.4 million full guaranteed. There will be a deal cap hit of approximately $1.7 million in 2017 to account for the prorated bonus. 

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Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins

Out

TE Jordan Reed (shoulder)—The word heroic is thrown around too often when talking about what athletes do, in light if what, say, first responders do every day. But Reed playing in the second half out of the Dallas game with a third-degree AC joint sprain certainly was remarkable. But Gruden said that Reed won’t have sufficient range of motion in the shoulder or range of motion to be able to go against the Cardinals.

DE Anthony Lanier (leg)—The reserve lineman missed the second half of the Dallas game with a leg contusion. Gruden said he was kicked in the lower leg against the Cowboys and the swelling is still an issue.

Questionable

LS Nick Sundberg (back)—He tweaked his back in the weight room before the Packers game and missed that game and the one against the Cowboys. He was a full go in practice all week and will return against the Cardinals.

G Brandon Scherff (ankle)—He has been limited in practice during the week but it seems certain that he will go against the Cardinals.

T Ty Nsekhe (ankle)—Ditto comment on Scherff above.

CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle)—He suffered the injury in practice this week and he was limited in practice on Thursday.

RB Chris Thompson (illness)—He was limited in practice during the week but he said in the locker room he will have his usual role on Sunday.

Also questionable for the Redskins: ILB Terence Garvin (shoulder) and DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee)

Cardinals

Check back for the Cardinals injury update after they release their report later this afternoon.