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NFL notebook: Shanahan last hurdle Griffin has to vault

Associated Press

So much for perfect harmony. Even on a night when the news is good, Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan can’t sing the same song.

Minutes after the Washington Redskins quarterback tweeted to the world that he was “Cleared for Takeoff” in his return from major knee surgery, the coach kept him sitting on the runway for a least a few more days, declining to name Griffin as the Week 1 starter.

There is agreement on one very important matter. On Thursday night, when the Redskins were in Florida to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Griffin was cleared to play after being examined yet again by Dr. James Andrews, a remarkable development that comes less than eight months after he repaired Griffin’s right knee in January.

Then it gets murky. Griffin celebrated the news by tweeting: “Operation Patience....Complete. Cleared. To God Be The Glory.” “Operation Patience” was the catchphrase Griffin used to help deal with the frustration he felt when he was limited in practice by Shanahan during training camp and not allowed to play in preseason games. Griffin also tweeted a link to a photo of himself saluting while wearing his Redskins uniform, with the caption “Cleared for Takeoff.”

Shanahan held his postgame news conference and announced that Andrews did indeed clear Griffin to play, but: “There’s a couple concerns that he has. I’ll talk to Robert over the weekend and I’ll let you guys know on Monday.”

Shanahan declined to identify the “concerns” the doctor supposedly has.

Wilson moves up

David Wilson is ready to become the every-down halfback for the New York Giants in the wake of the injury to backup Andre Brown. Brown broke his left leg for the second time in nine months in the Giants’ preseason finale at New England Thursday night.

Coach Tom Coughlin was unable to say on Friday how long the injury would keep Brown sidelined. Wilson, who was thrust into the starting lineup when the Giants released Ahmad Bradshaw after last season, plans to pick up the slack.

On the mend

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert is on pace to return for the season opener. Gabbert, recovering from a hairline fracture in his right thumb, is squeezing the football and could throw some passes this weekend. … The Arizona 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. … Indianapolis Colts linebacker Kavell Conner injured his ankle in Thursday night’s preseason finale and could miss a couple of weeks. Rookie offensive lineman Emmett Cleary also could miss a couple of weeks with an ankle injury.

Around the league

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end DeQuin Evans was suspended for the season’s first eight games. Evans violated the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances for a second time. Evans, 26, who served a four-game suspension in 2011, has yet to play in the regular season for Cincinnati. … The Buffalo Bills released quarterback Matt Leinart and signed center Eric Wood to a four-year contract extension, a source told the Associated Press. … The New England Patriots released veteran tight ends Jake Ballard and Daniel Fells. … The Atlanta Falcons waived Brian Banks, the linebacker who was attempting to make a late start to his NFL career after spending five years in prison on a conviction that was overturned. … The Jacksonville Jaguars cut quarterbacks Mike Kafka and rookie Matt Scott.



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