WASHINGTON — Robert Griffin III has passed a major test toward his goal of playing in Week 1, getting the go-ahead from the team doctors days before the Washington Redskins open training camp.
“Doctors cleared me to practice. Coach is going to ease me in,” Griffin announced Monday on Twitter.
The two sentences represent hurdles past and future. Even though Griffin said he has the medical OK, it is now up to coach Mike Shanahan to determine how often and how vigorously Griffin practices when the Redskins open camp Thursday in Richmond, Va.
The Redskins had no comment on Griffin’s tweet. However, a person familiar with the situation said the Redskins have cleared Griffin to practice. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club has not made an announcement.
Still, it seems more likely than ever that Griffin will be under center when the Redskins open the regular season against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 9, just eight months after he had reconstructive surgery on his right knee.
“It’s great news,” right guard Chris Chester said. “I’m really excited about it. It’s a great chance to continue from where we left off last year.”
Griffin injured the knee multiple times last season. He missed one game after spraining the lateral collateral ligament, then reinjured the knee at least twice more in the playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks in January. He had surgery a few days later to repair the ACL and LCL.
MILLER SAYS HE DID NOTHING WRONG: In Englewood, Colo., the latest distraction for the Denver Broncos comes from All-Pro linebacker Von Miller, who insisted Monday he did nothing wrong in the face of reports he could miss four games for violating the NFL’s drug policy.
“I know I did nothing wrong. I’m sure this’ll be resolved fairly,” Miller tweeted, acknowledging he had seen the reports and adding he was disappointed the Broncos have to open training camp with this news hanging over them.
ESPN first reported the pending discipline for Miller. A person with knowledge of the situation confirmed the possible penalty to The Associated Press. The person did not want to be named because the league hasn’t announced any punishment.
Broncos spokesman Patrick Smyth said the team would not comment on the penalty, which could be overturned by an appeal. Miller and his agent didn’t return messages left by AP.
FIRST-ROUNDER HOPKINS SIGNS: In Houston, the Texans signed first-round pick receiver DeAndre Hopkins on Monday, giving them seven of nine 2013 draft picks now under contract.
Hopkins, who left Clemson after his junior season, is a deep threat who could be the complement for star receiver Andre Johnson that the Texans long have sought.
He caught 82 passes and set school records with 1,405 yards receiving and 18 touchdown receptions last year. His 24 catches of 20 yards or more last season were the most in the ACC and he averaged 17.1 yards a catch in 2012.
Also on Monday, the Texans released nose tackle Ra’Shon Harris, placed safety Orhian Johnson and linebacker Sam Montgomery of LSU on the active/non-football injury list, and placed defensive end Earl Okine on the physically unable to perform list.
WRIGHT FAILS PHYSICAL: In San Francisco, cornerback Eric Wright failed his physical with the San Francisco 49ers, nullifying a trade to bring him to Northern California from Tampa Bay.
He was subsequently released by the Buccaneers.
San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh declined to say specifically what portion of the physical Wright failed and made just a brief statement on the situation.
Thus ends a quirky four-day stretch that began after the 49ers appeared to have acquired the former second-round draft pick from Tampa Bay on Friday in exchange for a conditional draft pick in 2014.
Shortly thereafter, reports surfaced that Wright had been arrested a week earlier in Los Angeles on an unspecified misdemeanor charge. It’s unclear if the 49ers were aware of Wright’s situation when they made the trade.
Wright was arrested in 2012 on felony DUI charges and was suspended for four games last season by the NFL for violating the performance-enhancing drug policy in his first season with the Bucs. Wright signed a five-year, $35.3 million contract with the Bucs before the 2012 season.
FORMER DEMON BELL SIGNS: In Oxnard, Calif., former Northwestern State All-America offensive tackle Demetress Bell is in training camp with the Dallas Cowboys after the club signed the fifth-year free agent over the weekend.
Bell, who played left tackle from 2008-11 in Buffalo and played both tackle slots last year in Philadelphia, was a free agent after starting 35 of the past 40 games he played for the Bills and Eagles.
Bell and second-year cornerback and special teams standout Jeremy Lane, who helped Seattle reach the NFL playoffs in his rookie season last year, are the two Demons active in the NFL as training camps begin. Veteran cornerback Terrence McGee was released by Buffalo during the offseason