ASHBURN, Va. — Robert Griffin III felt good enough to attend something called a Rookie Success Program meeting Monday morning and seemed, by all accounts, to be doing just fine on the day after suffering his first NFL concussion.
Griffin still has to complete the league's mandated return-to-play protocol before he's cleared for practice, but his Washington Redskins teammates and coach Mike Shanahan were optimistic the Heisman Trophy winner will be able to play in this week's game against the Minnesota Vikings.
"We should fine out in the next few days exactly what happens," Shanahan said. "Right now it looks good. I'm not really sure if it stays that way. The professionals will monitor his situation and let us know if able he's able to play or not. We surely have nothing to do with it."
There's nothing like a head injury to the future-of-the-franchise to make the ins and outs of concussion rules and symptoms suddenly the trendy topic inside Redskins Park. Shanahan described in detail the process Griffin will undergo, defended the decision to have the rookie described as "shaken up" during the game, and — most importantly — talked about ways to help prevent such an injury from happening again.
"In my experience, when the quarterback gets that first hit like he received, they slide a little bit sooner in plays to come," Shanahan said. "They kind of protect themselves a little bit more."
Griffin was injured while scrambling near the sidelines on a third-and-goal play. He couldn't find an open receiver, so he tried to turn the corner and lost his footing — just in time for his helmet to ram into the upper body of linebacker Sean Weatherspoon.
In retrospect, he should've just run out of bounds or simply thrown the ball away, but Griffin is a valuable commodity in part because he's a threat as a runner. The Redskins (2-3) cut back his designed runs after he took some jarring hits in the first three games.
"He's very competitive, like most young quarterbacks are," Shanahan said. "They want to make every first down, they want to extend every play to the last second, but part of that is knowing that, hey, we have to have you out there, so these quarterbacks learn in time when to slide. Now if it's a Super Bowl or you're going for a playoff win, you're going to take some of those chances."
Griffin insisted he was fine when he came to sideline and was able to recite the score and quarter, but Shanahan looked into the rookie's eyes and knew right away that something was wrong. A few moments later, Griffin didn't know the score or what quarter it was. He was then taken to the locker room, where the concussion was formally diagnosed.
at Washington Redskins
4:25 p.m. Sunday