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Coach Mike Shanahan admitted after Sunday night's win over the Cowboys that Robert Griffin looked like he was limping during the game. The rookie quarterback wore a brace on the right knee he sprained against the Ravens in Week 14. Despite being less than 100 percent, Griffin was effective on the ground, rushing for 63 yards on 6 carries (including a touchdown), but threw for just 100 yards on 9 for 18 passing.
"(Griffin) always tells me he's fine and you could see that he was hurting a little bit, even though he won't admit that to me," Shanahan said after the game. "But that shows you what type of competitor he is to play at the level he did and to orchestrate that type of performance. But I didn't see that during the week … but he made enough big plays to give us a chance to win."
And that's the takeaway: Even a banged-up RGIII is better than most NFL quarterbacks. But there's some better news ahead of Washington's wild-card match-up with Seattle this weekend: He's back to full strength.
"The doctors say he’s 100 percent," Shanahan said Monday. "We don’t have to worry about him re-injuring that LCL. The brace helps him at least mentally know that he’s not putting too much pressure on it. I think sometimes that’s why he looks a little bit different when he does cut. I think it bothers him just a hair, but it’s something that he has to wear.”
Griffin was asked about the brace, his knee and his health on Wednesday.
"I know a lot of people talk about the limp with the brace but anytime you wear a brace like that it's to protect you so it's gonna cause a natural limp," he said. "You're not going to be able to bend your knee normally … but at the same time you can still generate power."
RGIII admitted what the doctors confirmed to Shanahan.
"It's getting pretty close to being mostly the brace, but the doctors aren't going to let me take it off, I don't believe," he said. "… So I try to do as much as I can without the brace and whenever they find out I don't have it on I have to throw it on."
So will Griffin have to wear the brace for the rest of the season?
"I don't know, you know. I can feel (my leg) healing so I might not wear the brace this week. I'm sure (head trainer) Larry Hess is shaking his head downstairs right now but we'll see what happens. This is no rest of the season for us. Right now we just have to focus on Seattle."
And no RGIII press conference would be complete without a mention of another rookie quarterback. For most of the season, that conversation has included Andrew Luck. This time, though, it's Seahawks' QB Russell Wilson. Griffin's answers to predictable questions weren't especially enlightening, but it did provide him a chance to dust off the stock responses he became accustomed to giving earlier in the year.
"Yeah, me and Russell, we didn't train together (last spring)," he said. "Kirk (Cousins) trained with him down in Florida. I trained in Arizona but I did get to meet him a couple times and talk to him. You know, great guy, but like I told you guys, I don't play against quarterbacks. It's not my job to compare us. You guys will do that for next week, and I hope you guys have fun. But I'm not gonna try…
"It's just good to see him being so successful, but at the same time I want our defense to go out and shut them down."