Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden on Monday said he's moving forward with Colt McCoy as his likely starter Oct. 27 against the Dallas Cowboys, but knows there's a potential wild card in the mix at the position, depending on a variety of factors.
That wild card, of course, is Robert Griffin III, who has been on the mend since dislocating his left ankle in the first quarter of the Redskins' Week 2 victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Last week, Griffin III was able to participate in practice drills for the first time since suffering the injury, and even ran some plays for the scout team offense as Washington prepared for Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans.
Gruden said after Sunday's game – a 19-17 Redskins victory at FedExField – that Griffin III "has a chance to practice on Wednesday" and that the team's medical staff and he have to "see where he is health-wise," and from there the first-year head coach "will make a decision from watching the tape."
Gruden echoed those same comments on Monday, when he announced that McCoy – who completed 11-of-12 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown in second-half relief and led the Redskins to their last-second victory on Sunday – would be taking the reps with the No. 1 offense in practice this week.
In order for Griffin III to play against the Cowboys, the Baylor product "still has a long way to go," Gruden said.
"I wouldn't rule him out, but he has got a ways to go to show that he can play, show that that ankle is 100 percent and that's the big thing," Gruden said. "He has got to be 100 percent ready to go. We don't want to put him out there at 85 percent and have it be weak and have him do something else to it. We want to make sure he is ready to go when he is out there."
To get to that point, Gruden said Griffin III needs to have the ability to sprint and make cuts free of pain.
"Is he full speed? Is it sturdy enough? Does he feel like it is? Does he play good with the brace on? There's a lot of issues that still go into making him a starter or seeing if he is ready or not, and a lot of those are out of my hands," Gruden said. "He is going to have to make those decisions and the trainers."
Although Griffin III's physical status is still in the air, Gruden said the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year hasn't fallen behind in his mental preparation of the game.
"Mentally he will be ready to go, I'm sure," Gruden said. "He has been in all the meetings. It's not like he has forgotten anything. So I think just getting back in the flow of calling plays in the huddle with the ones, going through the concepts over again, just making sure he didn't forget anything, which I don't think he has."