BY JOSEPH WHITE, AP SPORTS WRITER
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Robert Griffin III returned to practice Wednesday for the Washington Redskins, and coach Jay Gruden confirmed that the third-year quarterback will regain the starter’s job this season.
Griffin threw passes in individual and one-on-one drills in his first such work since he dislocated his left ankle in Week 2.
“Once they say he’s healthy and he practices with us, and we feel like he’s ready to go mentally and we have a good game plan for him, then he’ll be the starter,” Gruden said. “But I don’t know when that will be yet. It’s hard for me to project. It could be one week, two weeks. It could be five weeks.”
Griffin wore cleats with high ankle support and looked a bit rusty. His first pass hit fullback Darrel Young on the back of the shin, but he also had some good throws during the one-on-ones when defensive backs were covering receivers.
Griffin took the first snap in each of the drills early in the practice, ahead of current starter Kirk Cousins
“He looked fine. He got a little bounce in his step,” Gruden said. “Everything else is going to be up to the trainers and the doctor. There’s nothing I can do as far as rushing him back.”
The Redskins did not allow Griffin to be interviewed about his participation in practice.
Griffin isn’t expected to play until Nov. 2 against Minnesota at the earliest. A more likely scenario has him back Nov. 16 against Tampa Bay following the bye.
“Obviously we’d like to have him back, but he still does need some work as far as getting back under center, getting the reps, getting the footwork back down, just the whole process of being a quarterback again,” Gruden said. “It’s not just about going out there and running half-gassers and throwing to wide receivers and routes vs. air. It’s about handling the protections, the running game, the audibles, all that good stuff.”
Griffin was hurt early in a 41-10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 14. The Redskins (1-5) have since lost four straight with Cousins, and Gruden suggested for the first time that he might turn to third-stringer Colt McCoy if Cousins continues to struggle.
“Obviously if things continue in this downward spiral, then there’s always a chance to see Colt,” Gruden said. “But I think Kirk will play himself out of it.”