All spring/summer long when I’ve written about the various minutiae surrounding Robert Griffin III and his
sexting recovery, one reminder has remained constant, just as it was a year ago when we went through this same process with Adrian Peterson. Facing contact is a crucial step, and one that’s still far away.
The connections between Peterson’s recovery and Griffin’s now have always been hovering: the late-season injury, the multiple tears, and the seemingly inhuman rate at which these finely-tuned athletic machines mend themselves. Now, there’s a reasonable chance that the Peterson/Griffin relationship will get yet another link.
Just like the Vikings running back, Griffin could start training camp on the physically unable to perform list.
Chill out a little and put down that shot of Jack, Griffin owners in fantasy leagues that drafted way too early, or those in keeper and dynasty leagues. Starting training camp on the PUP list means little for Griffin’s Week 1 outlook, and it’s much different than starting the regular season on the PUP list, which requires a minimum absence of six weeks. All that matters to you is that the training camp PUP list means Griffin will be taking it slow (so very, very slow) at the beginning while doing individual work off to the side, and he won’t participate in team drills. Peterson started training camp on the PUP list too, and you know how that ended.
But indeed, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported earlier this morning that the PUP list is a possibility for Griffin, while adding that no definitive decision has been made yet. That decision is coming quickly, with the Redskins opening camp in less than a week on July 24 (!!!!!!!1).
The fantasy approach here doesn’t change, but neither does the general hesitancy and jittery knees regarding Griffin’s previously shredded ligaments. Thing is, like Peterson (again), it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see Griffin in a preseason game, and if we do the appearance will be extremely brief. So that bit about facing contact will take place primarily in an isolated practice environment, with the real pounding waiting until it matters in Week 1.
In the end, the continued soft approach with Griffin will still be beneficial for fantasy purposes. Throughout many drafts last August, the hair pulling around Peterson led to simply historic draft value when he sometimes fell to the second round before nearly breaking the single-season rushing record. Right now, Griffin’s ADP is around 75th overall, and if he recovers just fine and becomes the Griffin we saw last year, he’ll give you that same terrific value.
We can’t entirely ignore being on the training camp PUP, though, and pretend it means absolutely nothing. As Redskins beat writer Rich Tandler reminds us, no two situations are the same, and missing a chunk of training camp means a lot more for a second-year quarterback than it did for a veteran running back:
Being on the PUP list would severely limit what Griffin can do. Per the league CBA, players on PUP “are not permitted to participate in team or individual drills or practice sessions (contact or non-contact).” They may attend practices “Provided they do not participate.” Any work a PUP player does “may not involve another player”.
Throughout OTAs, Griffin was clearly doing limited work, but he was still able to throw with teammates, and log a genuine workout. That won’t happen on the PUP.
Still, if he sits in that state for, say, two weeks, Griffin is talented enough and advanced enough to easily make up for that lost time, though unnecessarily limiting his activity is at least mildly concerning.