Some just heal quicker than others.
Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III showed that in 2013, when he underwent surgery to completely repair his right knee after tearing multiple ligaments in a January playoff game, and returned to the field by Week 1 just nine months later.
But the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year has proven that theory once again this week, as he began participating in agility drills at practice just a little more than three weeks after dislocating his left ankle in the first quarter of the Redskins' Week 2 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said this week that he doesn't have any idea "as far as a timetable is concerned" for Griffin III's return to practice — or, for that matter, his return to the Redskins' lineup — but said the quarterback is "doing what he can."
"He's taking it day-by-day and trying to get stronger," the first-year head coach said. "I know that once he feels like he can start to run and start to practice, then we'll slowly install him."
Gruden said it'll be "at least a week or two of good full practice" before Griffin III returns to game action for the Redskins.
"He's going to need the reps and get back on with the offense," Gruden said.
Griffin III's injury occurred in the first quarter of the Redskins' Week 2 matchup against the Jaguars at FedExFIeld. The Baylor product scrambled out of the pocket to his right as he looked to make a last-second throw to wide receiver DeSean Jackson, and, after attempting to stiff arm Jacksonville linebacker Paul Posluszny, Griffin III said his left ankle "got caught in the ground."
Despite suffering the injury, Griffin III was immediately able to push off his right foot and deliver a 19-yard strike to Jackson before crumpling to the ground on the Redskins sideline.
"When I landed, I wanted to look at my ankle because I felt something," Griffin III said after the game. "When I looked at it, it didn't look in a great position, so I kind of knew something was wrong then. So, I just called the trainers over."
In emergency relief that day, quarterback Kirk Cousins was able to deliver a gem, completing 22-of-33 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Overall, since Griffin III's injury, Cousins has completed 92-of-150 passes (61.3 percent) for 1,217 yards and eight touchdowns to five interceptions in four total games.
The third-year signal caller will once again lead the Redskins' offense on Sunday against the 3-1 Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
Cousins has repeatedly told reporters that he's not worried about what will happen to the quarterback position once Griffin III is able to return to the field. Cousins job, he said, will be to remain Griffin III's backup at that juncture; but, for now, he's worried about the task at hand.
"I think I am doing it every bit as much as I would regardless of the circumstances," Cousins said of his leadership style with Griffin III out. "I think I am leading the way I would lead and taking charge and doing all I can. It hasn't shown up in the win column yet but I am going to keep working and keep preparing and keep learning and keeping getting better and I think we have got better days ahead coming soon."
Gruden said Griffin III's next hurdle will be gaining back his straight-line sprinting abilities. From there, the Heisman Trophy Award winner can get back to focusing on his quarterback skills to "see how he is with his footwork and how he steps into throws, how he handles the pocket and people around him."
"He has got to have at least a couple weeks of practice with the team before he can think about getting on the field, and we've got to feel good about it, he's got to feel good about it mentally," Gruden said. "But from a progress standpoint, a speedy recovery, (and with) the way he rehabbed from his knee, nothing surprises me."