He's back – and he's hoping to help his team continue the momentum of a season-saving winning streak into the bye week.
Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has been pinned by head coach Jay Gruden as the likely starter for Sunday's road matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, just seven weeks after suffering a gruesome injury to his left ankle.
Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III has turned his 2013 season around since the bye week, putting together highlight performances on offense.
In an exclusive interview with Redskins.com TV's Larry Michael, Griffin III said he's elated to return to the field to lead his team, which is in the midst of a two-game winning streak after starting the season 1-5.
"I've been able to get out there and practice a little bit, and now just getting into the flow – the flow with the guys," Griffin III said. "And that's what we want to do: keep this winning streak rolling, and go into the bye feeling good."
Griffin III wasn't exactly feeling good Sept. 14, when he dislocated his left ankle as he attempted to scramble to his right and make a throw along the sideline to wide receiver DeSean Jackson against the Jacksonville Jaguars at FedExField.
The immediate prognosis didn't look too promising, but Griffin III eventually learned the injury would not require surgery. It didn't take long for him to have his cast removed, ditch his crutches and get back onto the practice field, where he worked off to the side with the team's training staff.
Two weeks ago – just one month after suffering the injury – Griffin III returned to practice with his teammates, albeit in a limited role. Then, on Wednesday, Griffin III fully participated in practice for the first time since Week 2.
He said he had hoped he'd "get back a little sooner," but has "been blessed my injury wasn't as bad as it could've been," praising head athletic trainer Larry Hess and his staff for their hard work and patience.
"(They) really helped me be smart about what I'm doing with my ankle," Griffin III said. "This isn't little league football. You're going to play with some pain. And I'm to the point where I've rehabbed it enough and I feel good going out there and I feel like I can be myself."
Griffin III said he definitely feels healthy enough to play on Sunday against the Vikings in Minneapolis, and that he's going to lean on his fellow playmakers on offense to help get the job done.
"I'm going to lean on my guys; you know, the guys up front: Alfred [Morris] and DeSean [Jackson], Pierre [Garçon], Andre [Roberts], all of the receivers," he said. "I'm going to lean on those guys to help get me through this game, and not just get through it, go out there and let's be efficient, be productive and put points on the board."
While he was out, Griffin III said he took advantage of the opportunity to stand on the sidelines and chart the plays of the offense while it was led by fellow quarterbacks Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy. He said he learned "countless things" during that time, including even more about situational football, as well as what his coaches are looking for on particular plays.
"You get a chance to actually go back and chart the game and see in what situations – whether it's third down, red zone, backed up, third and long, second and long – how many of those plays you're going to get a game," Griffin III said. "And, going through that, I realized you don't get very many. So you've got to kind of know what you want to get run, know what coach wants to get run, and know those plays like the back of your hand so that you can execute them and be efficient."
Returning against the Vikings (3-5) at their place won't exactly be a simple task for Griffin III and the Redskins' offense. Minnesota ranks eighth in the league in total defense, and is particularly stingy against the pass and on third downs.
But Griffin III said he's up for the challenge.
"You just want to win. We want to make plays," he said. "As a competitor, you don't ever want the defense to make a good play against you, but I feel like that's the name of the game: they're going to have their plays, we're going to have ours. At the end of the day, we need to have more than they do. And they're not going to make it easy."
Griffin III said he can't wait to get that No. 10 jersey, his shoulder pads and helmet back on see where his team can go from here.
"Yeah, man, I'm ready to go," Griffin III said. "I'm ready to go, I'm ready to play, get back out there with the guys and, you know, have fun."