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Obfuscation over: 'Skins to start RG3

The Redskins say quarterback Robert Griffin III has full medical clearance to start Monday night’s regular-season opener.

Associated Press

The Redskins say quarterback Robert Griffin III has full medical clearance to start Monday night’s regular-season opener.

ASHBURN, Va. — So much for those last-minute "concerns." RG3 is starting Week 1.

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan finally confirmed Monday what has appeared inevitable since the start of training camp: Robert Griffin III will be under center for the season opener against the Eagles.

"I feel very good where Robert's at," Shanahan said. "And he'll be our starter on Monday night unless there's some crazy setback that we don't anticipate."

As is fitting with all things Griffin these days, Shanahan couldn't make the proclamation without leaving a few loose ends of intrigue. The coach refused to disclose the "concerns" that caused him to delay the announcement for several days after the quarterback was medically cleared by Dr. James Andrews.

Andrews gave Griffin the go-ahead Thursday after examining the quarterback's surgically repaired right knee in Florida, where the Redskins were playing the Bucs in a preseason game.

But Shanahan said at the time that Andrews also had "concerns" that needed to be addressed. Andrews contradicted the coach the next day in a series of text messages, saying he had "no concerns."

Nevertheless, Shanahan said Andrews voiced those concerns Sunday in a conference call with Griffin, general manager Bruce Allen and team athletic trainer Larry Hess. The call, the coach said, was aimed at "making sure we're all on the same page."

The conclusion? Shanahan said Griffin is "ready to go — full speed ahead."

Asked what the concerns are, Shanahan said he would leave it to Griffin to disclose them. Griffin is scheduled to address reporters Wednesday.

CRUZ READY, PIERRE-PAUL UNSURE: Giants receiver Victor Cruz seemingly is a go for the season opener. The same can't be said for defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.

Cruz had his first workout with the team since bruising his left heel in a preseason game against the Colts on Aug. 18. He missed the final two exhibition games but seemed to run without any problem.

"I was going full speed," Cruz said. "I wasn't holding anything back."

Pierre-Paul, the former USF standout who had lower back surgery in June, has had trouble putting two workouts together without feeling twinges or stamina issues. He was tired after Monday's practice but said he felt good.

"The conditioning part, I got to push myself to do that and that's what I'm going to do," he said.

QUINN JOINS JETS: New York signed veteran quarterback Brady Quinn to provide an experienced backup behind rookie Geno Smith, who appears likely to start the season opener against the Bucs on Sunday. Quinn, a first-round draft pick of the Browns in 2007, was cut by the Seahawks on Saturday.

BEARS WR FEELS GOOD: Bears star Brandon Marshall said his surgically repaired hip is structurally sound heading into the season opener. The Pro Bowl receiver missed the preseason finale and was examined over the weekend. "It's go time," he said. Also, Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton and receiver Earl Bennett said they expect to be ready for the opener after being sidelined by concussions.

NEW DEAL FOR ATKINS: The Bengals signed defensive tackle Geno Atkins to a five-year contract extension, locking up one of their best defensive players through 2018. The All-Pro tackle, a fourth-round pick in 2010, was entering the final year of his original deal.

BILLS: Safety Jim Leonhard, an eight-year veteran who broke into the NFL with Buffalo in 2005 as an undrafted rookie out of Wisconsin, officially signed after taking his physical.

BROWNS: First-round draft pick Barkevious Mingo, who sustained a bruised lung last month, returned to practice in a limited role, a significant step in his recovery from the mysterious injury. … Former Pro Bowlers Dan Carpenter and Billy Cundiff will be two of the kickers expected to try out today to replace veteran Shayne Graham, who was cut over the weekend.

DOLPHINS: First-round draft pick Dion Jordan is expected to play as a pass rusher in the season opener despite his curtailed training camp regimen, and he might see duty on special teams. Jordan missed the final three exhibition games because of a lingering shoulder injury.

JAGUARS: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who missed the final two preseason games after suffering a hairline fracture of his right thumb, threw passes in practice and could be ready to start the season opener.

PACKERS: Seneca Wallace was signed days after he was released by the 49ers, Green Bay's opening game opponent. Wallace replaces B.J. Coleman as the backup to Aaron Rodgers.

PATRIOTS: Coach Bill Belichick didn't rule out bringing back Tim Tebow, the former Gators star who was the Jets' third-string quarterback last season. "I don't know what's going to happen during the year, but certainly we've had a lot of players who've left here and come back here," Belichick said in his first comments since releasing Tebow on Saturday.

RAIDERS: Coach Dennis Allen said he will not say whether Terrelle Pryor or Matt Flynn will start the season opener at Indianapolis until game time for "competitive" reasons.

STEELERS: Tight end Heath Miller, who had right knee surgery about eight months ago, was taken off the physically unable to perform list and called the move a step in the right direction.

Obfuscation over: 'Skins to start RG3 09/02/13 [Last modified: Monday, September 2, 2013 10:03pm]
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