GREEN BAY, Wis. – Among the things the Green Bay Packers will have to figure out during their preparation for Sunday’s home opener against Washington is just how mobile quarterback Robert Griffin III is at this point.
A little more than eight months removed from reconstructive knee surgery, Griffin, in Monday night’s 33-27 loss to Philadelphia, didn’t play like the agile, running quarterback he was last season on the way to winning the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year award.
In 2012, Griffin rushed for 815 yards, the most by a quarterback and the 20th-best total in the league.
On Monday night, Griffin rushed only five times for 24 yards, half of which came on one run. Was that a conscious approach by Redskins coach Mike Shanahan to protect his quarterback’s knee? Was Griffin tentative? Or was it simply based on the fact that the Redskins fell behind 33-7 and were forced to throw the ball.
That’s what the Packers will have to figure out.
“We have a lot of respect for his ability,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday. “Whether we feel he’s as mobile, that’s really with the schemes and really the mindset going into the game that is applied during the course of the week.”
The Packers spent a good portion of their offseason preparing to face mobile, read-option quarterbacks the first two weeks. In that regard, they held up San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick in Week 1, but they lost the opener because Kaepernick threw for 412 yards. Griffin threw for 329 yards against the Eagles.
“Kaepernick and RG III are about the same,” Packers defensive end C.J. Wilson said. “We know RG III is still coming off an injury on his leg, so I don’t think he’s going to be too mobile like he used to be in the past. But he makes the throws like Kaepernick.”
For what it’s worth, Griffin said Wednesday during a conference call with reporters at Lambeau Field that he isn’t hesitant to run.
“You trust God that he’ll protect you, and you go out and you play fearless,” Griffin said.