Robert Griffin III optimistic about his knee

This is the first of a three-part series, which will run this afternoon and evening, on critical injury situations in the NFC East as Sunday's games get closer. Part I is on Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, who says he's feeling "really good about" his chances of playing Sunday against the Browns in Cleveland. Griffin injured his right knee in Sunday's comeback victory over the Baltimore Ravens -- a game backup quarterback Kirk Cousins had to finish. But Griffin was able to work a bit in practice Wednesday, and what little he was able to do left him encouraged about the rest of the week. Per Mark Maske:

Coach Mike Shanahan called Griffin's participation in the practice limited. He said he was impressed by how Griffin looked.

Griffin, who is wearing a knee brace, will be evaluated on a daily basis and the Redskins will determine at the end of the week whether he can play at full speed, Shanahan said. "If he is, he'll play," Shanahan said.

The Redskins will take the risk of further injury into consideration as part of their decision, Shanahan said. He said he "probably" would let the situation play out as long as possible to maintain a competitive advantage by keeping the Browns guessing about who will play.

So there you go. That last part indicates that you won't know who's playing quarterback for the Redskins until about 11:30 am Sunday, when the inactives list for the game comes out. The Redskins need to balance the importance of this one game, which impacts their 2012 playoff chances, with the importance of the long-term health of Griffin, the franchise quarterback for whom they traded four high draft picks in April. If playing Sunday does put him at risk of injuring the knee further, they need to sit him down and go with Cousins.

Much more on this as the week unfolds. Coming up later, Part II of this series, which will deal with the health of New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw.