Robert Griffin III remains ahead of schedule in his recovery from major knee surgery, but a precise timetable for his return to the field remains unclear, Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan told reporters Wednesday.
“Well, in talking to doctors and trainers, he’s ahead of schedule,” Shanahan said during the NFC coaches breakfast at the NFL's annual meeting in Phoenix. “What does that mean? I don’t now. I just know he’s doing well and is working out about six-to-eight hours a day. Doctors feel very good about where he’s at.”
Shanahan also acknowledged that Griffin hasn’t started running yet – the 23-year-old had the ACL and LCL in his right knee repaired on Jan. 9 – and that his primary concern is that his star quarterback doesn’t attempt to overwork himself and suffer a setback as a result.
“I just don’t want him to go too quick,” Shanahan said.
As for a timeframe, Shanahan said he hopes Griffin will be able to participate when training camp opens in late July. But he was quick to acknowledge that no one can be certain at this early stage in the recovery process.
“We’ll find out in July,” Shanahan said. “For me to tell you anything at this time is kind of ludicrous. The doctors will tell you, from their perspective, when he’s able to practice, when he’s able to run.”
“There’s different stages, different progressions. When he can start jogging, what he can do for a certain amount of time. They’ve got it down right to the day.”
Shanahan also stressed that it will be Dr. James Andrews and the Redskins’ medical staff – not the player or the team's coaches – who will ultimately decide when Griffin returns.
“Everybody will see when he’s ready [and doing] full speed football drills, when he’s able to do the things that he was doing when he first came in,” Shanahan said. “So as a coach, you see it pretty easily. But what you don’t want to do is say, ‘Hey it’s July 1st, you’re looking pretty good,’ and the doctor says, ‘Wait a minute, he’s still a month away.’ [Doctors] can see that on the MRI. I can’t see that.”
The coach added: “Anybody that tells you that they know where he’s going to be July 1 ... people don’t know. Doctors don’t know. All I can tell you is when you get a guy who has the flexibility that he has, the strength, the desire to be the best at what he does, usually good things happen.”