You may have noticed several tremors beneath your feet this morning. The source of the first is easy: the Tebow-Norris alignment is quickly overtaking the Earth’s core. No biggie.
The second one is also pretty predictable: for the first time since his playoff injury in which he tore seemingly every known ligament in his knee, Robert Griffin III worked out in front of the media today. I’m not exactly sure what we expected, but at the very least what’s been seen so far through the live ESPN look-in (no, seriously) has been…encouraging.
When we last saw Griffin in front of an audience of any kind, he was doing jumping jacks at the Redskins’ draft event. That was nearly a month ago, and now it’s a week until the calendar flips to June. Time stands still for no man.
We know that Griffin has been running on land since early April, and we know that he’s been running in a pool for even longer. Those were both great signs, but they were still merely steps. We needed to see him do, well, more quarterback-y sort of things. We’d like visual proof of his ability to execute a dropback, because it requires planting hard on that knee, and then bouncing with maybe even a bit of mild cutting while moving around the pocket.
We saw that today, and we saw it a lot.
RG3 has been dropping back and throwing for abt 20 minutes. Mildly surprising.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) May 23, 2013
Oh, you need real, photographic evidence? Fine.
If you’re not impressed by that, his rehab has also prominently featured long midnight runs while pulling that dump truck.
Even if it’s in a limited capacity, seeing the sixth highest scorer in fantasy football acting sort of like a real, normal football player while on a field in May warms my heart. Once that feeling subsides, though, please resume the normal practice of approaching every minor RG3 update (oh, there will be plenty…I gotta eat) with the required amount of optimism that’s restricted by realism.
Yes, seeing him throwing and looking somewhat normal today is great, but the most mountainous hurdle remains far off in the distance. He needs to face contact, and much like the Vikings’ approach with Adrian Peterson last summer, it’s likely that the Redskins won’t expose their franchise quarterback to serious, pounding contact until it matters in Week 1.
Last summer Peterson was subjected to some highly controlled practice contact late in training camp. But he didn’t appear in a preseason game, and he was still a game-time decision during opening weekend, with his status remaining undecided until a few hours before kickoff. Brace for Washington to coddle Griffin in a similar manner, and the nervousness that creates in August could lead to at least a slight fall in his fantasy draft value.
That’s already started to an extent in offseason mocks, with Griffin’s ADP currently resting at 61st overall over at My Fantasy League, while Fantasy Football Calculator has him at 77th. On both sites he’s below Matthew Stafford and Russell Wilson, both of whom finished over 40 points behind Griffin in fantasy production this past season.
UPDATE: I always hate to be the killer of spirits, but when he met with the media Griffin said he hasn’t started cutting yet. Not even a little bit, so that’s pretty important.
He still plans to be ready for training camp though, and don’t worry, I’ll update you on his progress daily/hourly.