It's the biggest question mark of the Redskins 2013 season. When will Robert Griffin III return to game action? Both Griffin and Head Coach Mike Shanahan have said that RGIII will not start until he is 100 percent healthy.
There is no scale for medical recovery. I presume it means Griffin will return to action when he passes all the tests, runs all the drills and slides all the slides without wincing, limping, swelling, draining or clinching of teeth. Lets also presume Griffin will not start until he takes all the first team practice reps the week before game day.
We at Hog Heaven do not allow ourselves to believe this will happen before October. Thus, we will not be disappointed if he does not return for game one. A return any sooner would be pleasant, the best kind of surprise. I do believe the Redskins have a secret target date for his return. The 2013 schedule hides a huge clue.
The Redskins BYE week falls on the fifth weekend of the season. Normally, early Byes are a disadvantage. Mid to late-season Bye break helps a team recover from nagging injuries. Even healthy players need a break from the rigors of the season.
Washington's 2012 Bye fell in Week 10. The 3-6 Redskins launched their seven-game winning streak after the Bye to clinch the division. Early Byes mean a relatively healthy team faces a long slog without break to the end of the season. It can be a killer.
This year, the early Bye works for Washington because it gives RGIII two weeks of active prep time before starting with plenty left of season. The team has to comply with CBA work rules, of course, but I cannot imagine an offense skill player would refuse to stay around to work out timing issues with Griffin.
Some of you know I am a Spartans grad. That means I've been a fan of Kirk Cousins for five years now. I believe the Redskins can win two of their first four games with Cousins under center (because he's not likely to be in the pistol).
If Griffin were not ready by Week One, then starting him in Week Six after the Bye would be the perfect set-up. That would be Dallas Week and Sunday Night Football t boot. Call it a hunch.