July 25, 2013

NFL Notebook: Griffin expects to sit out the preseason

The Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. - Quarterback Robert Griffin III put on his knee brace and passed the perfunctory Washington Redskins' conditioning test on the eve of training camp, then declared he has "nothing left to prove" -- at least physically -- in his return from major knee surgery.

Dez Bryant
click image to enlarge

Dez Bryant has been a standout in training camp for the Dallas Cowboys after avoiding trouble in the offseason for the first time in three years.

The Associated Press

That's doesn't mean he's all the way back.

Griffin said Wednesday he won't participate in 11-on-11 drills in the early days of camp and likely won't play in any preseason games. Griffin is going to have to exercise a bit more patience as he and Coach Mike Shanahan try to work together to get him on the field for the regular-season opener Sept. 9.

"They want to make sure we're not doing anything too soon that we don't have to do," Griffin said. "Let some of these other guys get ready for the preseason. If it comes around that I'm ready to go, then maybe in the third preseason game, but as far as my understanding goes, preseason's really not even in the air. I think Coach feels like I can play without any preseason, so there's no need really for that. Patience is the key."

Griffin had reconstructive surgery on two ligaments in January after injuring his right knee multiple times in a playoff loss to Seattle. Team doctors and coaches cleared him for practice within the last week, setting a remarkable pace for a rehab that can typically take a year or more.

COWBOYS: Receiver Dez Bryant is the star of training camp, playing like a leader after his first trouble-free offseason in three years.

"I'm just impressed at this stage with how he's handled himself," said the owner, Jerry Jones. "Those that are the closest to him, those that have a dog in the fight, so to speak, which our fans do -- a lot of other people are rooting for Dez, too -- it's a consensus that he's making great strides."

Coming off career bests of 1,382 yards, 12 touchdowns and three games played with a broken finger, Bryant is diving for balls more than six weeks before the regular-season starts.

"Truth be told, I love this game so much," Bryant said. "Even if we weren't getting paid, I'd still be probably be out and be a football player. That's what I love to do. You've got to have a strong passion to be great."

RAMS: St. Louis released offensive guard Rokevious Watkins on the eve of the first full-squad workout of training camp.

BENGALS: Right tackle Andre Smith will be sidelined because of an injured calf when training camp opens Thursday.

BROWNS: Cleveland signed free- agent fullback Brock Bolen and defensive lineman Justin Cole one day before opening training camp.

JAGUARS: Jacksonville claimed undrafted rookie safety Ray Polk off waivers from Seattle.

BEARS: General Manager Phil Emery said he doesn't see the team extending contracts this season, meaning several high-profile players could hit the open market, including quarterback Jay Cutler.

BRONCOS: Linebacker Von Miller offered no details about his pending drug case and possible four-game suspension, repeatedly invoking the NFL's confidentiality clause to deflect questions during a session with reporters.

LIONS: Detroit signed receiver Chaz Schilens, who had 28 catches for the New York Jets last season.

TITANS: Linebacker Jonathan "Tig" Willard said he helped rescue a family from a burning vehicle on his way to training camp.

BUCCANEERS: Darrelle Revis, a three-time All-Pro cornerback, was cleared medically to participate in some activities after missing most of last season with the New York Jets following surgery to repair a torn knee ligament.

Tampa Bay signed receiver Mike Williams to a six-year, $40.25 million contract.

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