Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said Dr. James Andrews will make the final decision as to whether quarterback Robert Griffin III will return for the team's season opener Sept. 9 -- and won't do so until after the final preseason game.
Andrews examined Griffin on Monday before the Redskins' 24-13 preseason win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, watching him perform on the field and then checking out his surgically repaired right knee.
It's the first time Andrews has evaluated Griffin since training camp started. Shanahan said Andrews will re-examine Griffin after the preseason finale Aug. 29 and will let the team know whether the quarterback's knee is ready for game action. Andrews performed the Jan. 9 surgery on Griffin's right knee and has consistently said the quarterback is ahead of schedule.
"He'll give us the yay or nay but right now feels that his progress has been good," Shanahan said. "If there are no setbacks, he thinks he'll be ready.
"He really feels the same way as he did before camp with practice -- he feels good about him practicing. He doesn't feel like we should put him in any [preseason] games. ... If Dr. Andrews felt his knee wasn't ready, we surely wouldn't play him [in the opener]. We surely wouldn't play him if he didn't feel that it was in the best interest of Robert and this organization to play him. He's been doing great, and there's no reason to have a setback, but you never know."
Griffin worked out before the game, taking the same pregame snaps as the other players while wearing a white T-shirt that read, "Operation Patience." He smiled and laughed, and shook hands with Andrews.
"We're going to have two more weeks of practice and we're going to put him through situations like we've been doing over the last three and a half weeks," Shanahan said, "and keep our fingers crossed that there isn't a setback. If there isn't, he should be ready for Philadelphia."
Griffin has yet to work against anything but a scout-team defense in practice as the Redskins ease him back into the lineup. He hasn't favored his knee in the past few weeks, showing an ability to plant and throw with more force. That was not always true early in training camp.
The Redskins have six more practices before the preseason finale, including two walk-throughs. They have not said yet when they'll have him face something other than the scout team.