ASHBURN, Va. — Robert Griffin III’s rehab started with a “cry festival.” Then came a special new passcode for his cellphone and a chance to hash things out with coach Mike Shanahan.
There’s also been a Twitter rant about political correctness, some flak about all the wedding gifts he’s received and, most recently, a suggestion from his father that the Washington Redskins should pass the ball more.
On Thursday, the road back included running some drills at an offseason practice. Wearing a helmet but no jersey and sporting a large brace on his reconstructed right knee, Griffin did some handoffs and throws with other teammates recovering from injuries. It’s the latest step toward his goal of playing in the season opener in September.
“As soon as I woke up out of the surgery, I put the date of the first game in my phone,” Griffin said. “It was the passcode of my phone for a month. ... That’s always been the goal, but I’m not going to risk my career to play in one game. Yeah, I’m definitely all-in on for Week 1, but I’m also all-in for my career as well.”
It was Griffin’s first Redskins Park news conference of the offseason, an occasion that attracted an extraordinary media hoard to a routine May workout and showed again just how important the health of Griffin’s knee — and everything else about him, for that matter — has become in the nation’s capital.
Start with the tears. When Griffin went under the knife on Jan. 9 — three days after he was injured in the playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks — he didn’t know whether his ACL needed repair. When he awoke and realized that it had, he immediately went back to sleep because he couldn’t deal with the news.