The most important ligament in professional sports continues to take on a life of its own.
Erroneous reports over the weekend suggested that Dr. James Andrews and the Washington Redskins were not on the same page about the ACL rehab and recovery timetable for quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Team officials denied those reports at the time and head coach Mike Shanahan took the opportunity to address the details in his post-game press conference on Monday night.
"I did talk with Dr. [James] Andrews before the game; he feels great about Robert's [Griffin III]'s progress," Shanahan told the media. "He really feels the same way as he did before camp with practice – he feels good about him practicing. He doesn't feel like we should put him in any games."
In order to reach these conclusions, Dr. Andrews reportedly watched Griffin III practice in addition to physically checking out the soundness of the knee.
This was the first time that Dr. Andrews had seen the knee since the Monday before training camp, when Dr. Andrews cleared Griffin III to return to practicing with the team.
"[Dr. Andrews] felt very good about his progress," Shanahan said. "He's hoping that there are no setbacks.
"He's going to re-evaluate him after the Tampa game and then he'll make a decision, at least from his perspective, about where he is. But, like I said, he feels very good about where he is at this time."
The timetable for Griffin III's return has been tentatively pegged at Week 1 since the beginning of training camp, with Griffin III himself making such public proclamations in March.
Is this still a realistic goal? Shanahan says at this point, absolutely.
"If there are no setbacks, he thinks he'll be ready," Shanahan said. "But that's assuming there is no setback here over the next couple of weeks, so that's a good sign."
Between now and his post-preseason evaluation, Griffin III will have six practices to make steady improvement in football-related activities and overall wellbeing.
"I'm sure [Dr. Andrews]'ll look at him workout, see if his knee is where he thinks it should be, and then let us know what he believes is right, along with the other doctors," Shanahan said. "We've got Dr. [Christopher] Annunziata, obviously they will confer and give us what they think."
And if the knee isn't ready? Shanahan assured the media that the team would wait until he was ready.
"If Dr. Andrews felt that his knee wasn't ready, we surely wouldn't play him," Shanahan said. "I don't know what the communication was. I hate to make a comment on hearsay. I'm not exactly sure what was said, but we surely wouldn't play him if he didn't feel that it was in the best interest of Robert and this organization to play him.
"We're hoping there's no setback. We're going to have two more weeks of practice, and we're going to put him through situations like we've been doing over the last three and a half weeks.
"[We will] keep our fingers crossed that there isn't a setback and if there isn't, he should be ready for Philadelphia."