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Doctor clears Robert Griffin III to return after concussion

Doctor clears Robert Griffin III to return after concussion
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III walks off the field after an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguarson Sept. 3. (Alex Brandon / AP)

Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III has received medical clearance to return from a concussion he sustained just over three weeks ago and is probable for Sunday's season opener against Miami.

Coach Jay Gruden, speaking after Friday's practice, didn't say whether Griffin or Colt McCoy will back up starter Kirk Cousins against the Dolphins. He says the Redskins received written clearance for Griffin's return on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Gruden said the team had received a "verbal" report this week from the doctor who examined Griffin since he was injured Aug. 20 against Detroit.

Neurologist Robert Kurtzke originally advised the team Griffin could return to play in an Aug. 29 preseason game against Baltimore. But he reversed course in a written statement issued the day before the preseason game.

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Gruden named Cousins the starter and demoted Griffin following Cousins' performance against the Ravens. He had said Griffin would be the starter in February.

On Friday, the Redskins coach said Griffin has responded well since the change.

"I'm sure he's frustrated a little bit, but we haven't been able to see it," Gruden said. "He's in meetings. He's still asking questions and doing everything he's asked to do in individual (drills), and when he's out there in team work he's throwing the ball good."

Gruden also had praise for Cousins, who will be starting a season opener for the first time.

"He's handled it very well. He's studying, taking a lot of notes. Very conscientious of everything he's seeing and doing in practice. When he has an issue we talk about it, try to get it fixed for him," Gruden said.

"The Miami Dolphin defense is going to give you some looks. They play a lot of different coverages and they've got a very good blitz package."

Offensive tackle and occasional blocking tight end Tom Compton (calf) did not practice for a third straight day Friday and is questionable for Sunday.

Headsets not Patriots' fault

The NFL said that the New England Patriots had nothing to do with audio interference that rendered the Pittsburgh Steelers coaching headsets useless during the first quarter on opening night.

Spokesman Michael Signora said Friday that the league believes the problem "involved no manipulation by any individual and that the Patriots had nothing to do with it."

The statement said the problem was "entirely attributable to an electrical issue made worse by the inclement weather."

San Diego deadline missed

To no one's surprise, the city of San Diego and the Chargers missed a deadline set by Mayor Kevin Faulconer to agree on a new stadium that would keep the team from moving to Los Angeles.

The city and team had to strike a stadium deal by Friday to allow enough time for a measure to be put to voters on a Jan. 12 ballot. Faulconer wanted an election before an anticipated decision by league owners, potentially early next year, on whether to return a team to Los Angeles after a two-decade absence.

Eli Manning's new deal

Quarterback Eli Manning, a two-time Super Bowl most valuable player, signed a four-year, $84-million contract extension with the New York Giants on Friday.

The 34-year-old Manning is now under contract through the 2019 season. The new deal will make him the NFL's fourth highest-paid quarterback with an average salary of $21 million. Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers is the highest paid with a $22-million annual salary, followed by Seattle's Russell Wilson and Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger.

Elsewhere

Cincinnati receiver A.J. Green agreed to a contract extension that runs through the 2019 season, the last big thing the Bengals needed to accomplish before their season opener at Oakland. ... The Buffalo Bills promoted defensive end Ikemefuna Enemkpali from the practice squad to the active roster, putting him in position to begin serving a four-game suspension for punching then-New York Jets teammate Geno Smith. ... The Cleveland Browns traded defensive lineman Billy Winn to the Indianapolis Colts for a conditional 2017 draft pick. .... Jacksonville Jaguars long snapper Carson Tinker signed a four-year contract extension worth $3.7 million. ... Carolina Panthers Coach Ron Rivera said that defensive tackle Star Lotulelei will miss Sunday's game against the Jaguars because of a foot injury.

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