ASHBURN, Va. — Robert Griffin III felt good enough to attend something called a Rookie Success Program meeting Monday morning and seemed, by all accounts, to be doing just fine on the day after suffering his first NFL concussion.
Griffin still has to complete the league's mandated return-to-play protocol before he's cleared for practice, but his Washington Redskins teammates and coach Mike Shanahan were optimistic the Heisman Trophy winner will be able to play in this week's game against the Minnesota Vikings.
"We should fine out in the next few days exactly what happens," Shanahan said. "Right now it looks good. I'm not really sure if it stays that way. The professionals will monitor his situation and let us know if able he's able to play or not. We surely have nothing to do with it."
There's nothing like a head injury to the future-of-the-franchise to make the ins and outs of concussion rules and symptoms suddenly the trendy topic inside Redskins Park. Shanahan described in detail the process Griffin will undergo, defended the decision to have the rookie described as "shaken up" during the game, and — most importantly — talked about ways to help prevent such an injury from happening again.
"In my experience, when the quarterback gets that first hit like he received, they slide a little bit sooner in plays to come," Shanahan said. "They kind of protect themselves a little bit more."
Griffin was injured while scrambling near the sidelines on a third-and-goal play. He couldn't find an open receiver, so he tried to turn the corner and lost his footing — just in time for his helmet to ram into the upper body of linebacker Sean Weatherspoon.
HAMSTRUNG JETS: The New York Jets' struggling offense will be without tight end Dustin Keller, wide receiver Stephen Hill and fullback John Conner against the Houston Texans with hamstring injuries.
All three are inactive Monday night after not practicing last week. The Jets are already playing without top wide receiver Santonio Holmes, who suffered a season-ending foot injury last week, leaving Chaz Schilens and Jeremy Kerley as the starters.
Also inactive are cornerback Darrelle Revis, out with a torn knee ligament, nose tackle Sione Po'uha, third-string quarterback Greg McElroy and guard Caleb Schlauderaff.
Texans backup running back Ben Tate is inactive with a toe injury. Also not playing for Houston are safety Quintin Demps, wide receiver Lestar Jean, offensive linemen Brandon Brooks and Andrew Gardner, and cornerbacks Brandon Harris and Roc Carmichael.
LOCKER OUT: Tennessee coach Mike Munchak says quarterback Jake Locker will miss his second straight game with an injured left shoulder Thursday night when the Titans play the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Munchak also said Monday that backup running back Javon Ringer will miss four to six weeks after spraining his left knee.
Ringer was hurt in the second half of a 30-7 loss at Minnesota on Sunday. Munchak says that Ringer injured the medial collateral ligament in his knee.
Munchak says Locker is improving but Matt Hasselbeck will get his second straight start due to the short week. Locker will not be active.
CASSEL CONCUSSED: The Chiefs are down to their backup quarterback for the second year in a row.
Matt Cassel sustained a concussion in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against Baltimore and is unlikely to play in next weekend's game at Tampa Bay, which means Brady Quinn is preparing to start an NFL game for the first time in nearly three years.
Cassel was hit by the Ravens' Haloti Ngata while completing a pass to Jamaal Charles in the Chiefs' 9-6 loss. He remained on the ground for several minutes before walking off the field and straight to the locker room. Quinn finished out Kansas City's final offensive series.
VIKING PROMISES RETURN: Greg Childs happily walked through Minnesota's locker room. It was a stiff stroll, but the wide receiver walked without assistance, proudly updating his progress and promising to be back on the field for 2013 despite a ruptured patellar tendon in each of his knees that ended his rookie year before it began.
"I like to do things that people think other people can't do. I've got a strong head," he said.
Childs appeared in the locker room on Monday during a break before a rehabilitation session at the team's practice facility, making his first public comments since the freak injury a week into training camp. Childs was drafted out of Arkansas in the fourth round and placed on injured reserve shortly after he was hurt.
HADEN APOLOGIZES: The apology came from Joe Haden's heart. He knows he let down the Browns.
Speaking for the first time since he was suspended four games by the NFL, Haden acknowledged Monday that he tested positive for the stimulant Adderall, leading him to be banned for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Haden, one of Cleveland's best players, apologized to his teammates, coaches and Cleveland's fans for his costly misstep.
"It was just a mistake, just a very dumb mistake," Haden said. "It wasn't in any intent to hurt anybody or hurt the team or hurt anybody in that kind of way. It was just a young man making a decision I shouldn't have made."
NO ADDITIONAL PENALTY: Minnesota Vikings strong safety Harrison Smith won't be punished further for his shove of an official that drew a 15-yard penalty and automatic ejection from Sunday's game against Tennessee.
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Monday that the team was told by the NFL that Smith won't be fined or suspended. The rookie was pulled away from a tussle with some Titans players by back judge Steve Freeman after an interception by the Vikings in the second quarter, when Smith pushed Freeman aside.
Smith apologized after the game for what he called an "unacceptable" action and said he was wrong for even being involved in the scrum in the first place. The Vikings won 30-7 despite his absence.
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