Not only is Robert Griffin III coming off a serious concussion, but he also faces a suddenly top-ranked Minnesota Vikings defense in Week 6. Nevertheless, the dual-threat passer is still a must-start option.
UPDATE: Sunday, October 14 at 8:40 a.m. ET by Adam Wells
Not that there was a question, but @rgiii will start today vs. Minnesota.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 14, 2012
After all the testing that Griffin has gone through this week, and the positive news that kept coming out of D.C., it is not a shock to see that he will be playing.
The Vikings have been a pleasant surprise, particularly on defense, so the Redskins need all the playmakers they can get if they want to pull off the upset. Griffin certainly gives them a boost.
---END OF UPDATE---
UPDATE: Friday, October 12 at 1:45 p.m. ET by Sam Westmoreland
Well, we have more good news for Redskins coming out of practice today. According to a report from Tarik El-Bashir of Redskins.com, RGIII practiced fully today, and looks likely to play on Sunday:
Robert Griffin III practiced fully today. If he passes today's test he'll play Sunday, Shanahan said. #RedskinsTalk— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) October 12, 2012
Of course, the talented rookie isn't out of the woods quite yet; if he fails the baseline test today, he won't see the field on Sunday. That should have Redskins fans worried; after all, fellow rookie Kirk Cousins has yet to see a snap in the regular season, and Rex Grossman hardly inspires confidence at quarterback. In other words, stay tuned, at least for a little while longer.
The first of those problems sounds as though its regressing (via The Washington Times' Rich Campbell):
Shanahan on RG3: "Didn't look like there was any setback. He looked fine." A couple less plays than normal. #Redskins— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) October 11, 2012
Griffin is a tough dude. First concussions, if treated correctly, can usually be dealt with in a timely manner. As long as RGIII realizes he isn't Iron Man and decides to start sliding and going out of bounds more, he's going to be just fine.
But what about the prospects of fantasy success for the talented rookie?
For once, it's time to temper your expectations for RGIII.
The Vikings come to town, and much like the Vikings of yore (and by yore, I mean, like, three years ago), this team has a stellar defense.
The Vikes are sixth in the NFL in points allowed per game (15.8), seventh in yards allowed per game (305.6), second in yards allowed per rush (3.2), third in yards allowed per pass attempt (5.6) and 15th in passing yards allowed per game (227.0).
In short, they have been elite in all defensive aspects of the game.
How many total yards (passing + rushing) will Griffin accumulate on Sunday?
Nonetheless, you would have to either be in a four-team league, have had the best draft ever or be on bath salts to consider benching the dynamic quarterback. He's simply built for fantasy—and Subway commercials.
Griffin III has completed a ridiculous 69.1 percent of his throws, and it's not like they've just been dink and dunk's either—he's averaging 8.35 yards per attempt (second in the NFL). He's thrown four touchdowns to just one interception, and he's added another four scores and 241 yards via the ground.
Essentially, he's the 2011 version of Cam Newton without the turnovers.
Griffin might not light the world on fire in Week 6, but no matter the opposing defense, no matter the head injury, you're starting him with DeSean Jackson-like confidence.