Robert Griffin cleared to play ... but will he start?

WASHINGTON — Robert Griffin III is cleared to play. The saga between quarterback and coach goes on.

Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan is making Griffin — and everyone else — wait until Monday before announcing who will start in the Week 1 opener.

Griffin was cleared Thursday by Dr. James Andrews, who performed Griffin’s knee surgery in January. Griffin tweeted the news and said he was “Cleared for Takeoff.”

But Shanahan said Andrews also had “concerns” that need to be addressed. However, Andrews on Friday told The Washington Post that he has “no concerns.”

It all fits a pattern that’s been in play since the start of training camp. Griffin makes a statement; Shanahan says not-so-fast.

The convention wisdom remains that Griffin will be under center on Sept. 9.


QB competition is ‘ongoing’: In New York, Rex Ryan said people can “assume” that the New York Jets’ quarterback competition is ongoing since the team has yet to declare a winner.

Mark Sanchez has an injured right shoulder that might keep him out for at least the season opener, so rookie Geno Smith could get the start against the Buccaneers on Sept. 8. Neither played in the preseason finale win over Philadelphia on Thursday night.

Ryan has repeatedly said the Jets aren’t putting a timetable on announcing a quarterback, and even acknowledged it’s a possibility they could enter the season without saying whether Sanchez or Smith won the job.

Ryan, during a conference call Friday, said the situation could gain some clarity next Wednesday, when teams must submit their first injury report.


LEINART HITS THE ROAD: In Orchard Park, N.Y., the Bills released quarterback Matt Leinart on Friday, less than a week after he joined the team as an injury replacement.

The 30-year-old former first-round pick struggled in his only game with the Bills on Thursday night against Detroit, completing 3 of 10 passes for 11 yards and two interceptions.

The move was the latest setback for Leinart. He has had stints with four different teams over the past eight years.


Club places top draft pick on IR: In Tempe, Ariz., the Cardinals placed first-round draft pick Jonathan Cooper on injured reserve, ending the left guard’s season after initially expressing hope he could be back for as many as the final six games.

Cooper underwent surgery last Sunday after breaking his left leg the previous night in a preseason game against San Diego. Cooper, the ninth pick overall, had been slated to start on a rebuilt offensive line under new coach Bruce Arians.

The team released 13 players, including former Southern wide receiver Charles Hawkins and former LSU safety Curtis Taylor.