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RGIII not yet cleared for Washington Redskins' opener

Robert Griffin III, from the beginning, has targeted the season opener for his return to the field, but one final hurdle remains.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport was told Wednesday by a person with direct knowledge of RGIII's rehab that the Washington Redskins quarterback has not yet been medically cleared. Still, a source close to RGIII said "of course" Griffin will start Sept. 9 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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That has been the plan all along, and RGIII's surgically repaired right knee has suffered no setbacks along the way. NFL.com's Albert Breer reported Wednesday that Griffin has been taking first-team reps in practice the entire week, according to team sources.

RGIII will be examined by Dr. James Andrews in the Tampa Bay area Thursday, when the Redskins play the Buccaneers in the preseason finale. The overwhelming expectation is that RGIII will be cleared to play. Many around the team view Thursday's checkup as a formality, The Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing a source with knowledge of the situation.

"He's looking great," the source told The Post. "I don't think there's any doubt he's playing and I think everyone in the building is looking at it that way. I think they look at that last checkup as a done deal."

Griffin, asked Tuesday about his knee, told WTEM-AM: "I would say I'm 100 percent, but you can't put a number on it. No one ever knows when they are 100 percent or what percentage they're playing at. The biggest thing is, I'm not below 100 percent."

On the heels of Adrian Peterson's remarkable return from major knee surgery, Griffin will become the latest player to come back from an injury that previously was viewed as career-threatening.

We've expected all along that RGIII would be ready to play against the Eagles. Still, the confirmation of his return will serve as major news for Redskins fans, for the NFL and for the playoff hopes of a franchise that revolves around its dazzling young signal-caller.

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