Injuries: Griffin III cleared for non-contact activities

The return of RGIII to the Cleveland Browns seems to be a matter of when, not if.

Robert Griffin III has been cleared for non-contact activities but isn't going to practice yet, the team announced Wednesday. The Browns still have their one slot to designate a player for return from injured reserve, and it's fairly likely that they'll use it on the quarterback.

Sashi Brown, the Browns' executive vice president of football operations, told reporters Monday the injured quarterback still has a chance to play this season. Griffin still needs to be cleared for contact, but he's making strides toward seeing the field again this year. Browns coach Hue Jackson said Wednesday that Griffin probably won't practice this week.

The fifth-year signal-caller broke a bone in his non-throwing shoulder in Week 1 and the Browns have seen a revolving door at quarterback ever since. Josh McCown and rookies Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan have all seen significant snaps in RGIII's absence. Even Charlie Whitehurst saw action this year for Cleveland.

Browns left tackle Joe Thomas (knee) and cornerback Tramon Williams (ankle) did not practice as well.

Here are some other injuries we are tracking Wednesday:

  1. Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward is out for the season with a torn pectoral. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that Heyward will undergo surgery to replair the tear.
  1. Rams defensive end Robert Quinn is out of the hospital after admitting himself on Monday with a non-football illness. Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said they will wait to see if he practices Friday before deciding his status for Sunday.
  1. Eagles wideout Jordan Matthews did not practice after experiencing back spasms, head coach Doug Pederson said. Pederson also noted Matthews should be able to play Sunday. Cornerback Nolan Carroll remains in the concussion protocol.
  1. Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (perforated lung) did not practice and is not expected to play Sunday against the 49ers.
  1. Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (groin) was limited in practice, head coach Rex Ryan said. Ryan also wouldn't rule out the possibility that receiver Sammy Watkins (foot) returns to practice later in the week, saying he will listen to what the medical staff recommends.
  1. Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick (hamstring) practiced.
  1. Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring), tight end Jared Cook (concussion) and offensive tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) practiced in a limited capacity.
  1. Chiefs receiver Jeremy Maclin (groin), defensive lineman Jaye Howard, cornerback Marcus Peters (shoulder) and linebacker Tamba Hali (knee) did not practice. Pass rusher Justin Houston (knee), however, practiced fully for the first time this season.
  1. Panthers centers Ryan Kalil (shoulder) and Gino Gradkowski (knee) are questionable for Thursday night's game against the Saints. Offensive tackle Michael Oher (concussion) was ruled out.
  1. Dolphins left tackle Branden Albert (wrist) was ruled out for Sunday against the Rams. Rookie Laremy Tunsil will start in his absence.
  1. Bears running back Jordan Howard was a full participant in practice after suffering an ankle injury in Sunday's loss to the Buccaneers.
  1. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (shoulder) and tight end Tyler Eifert are on the injury report again. This time Eifert was limited with a knee injury.
  1. Redskins wideout DeSean Jackson (shoulder) was limited. Coach Jay Gruden said he has "no idea" if Jackson will play Sunday.
  1. Left tackle Terron Armstead (knee, quad) is out for the Saints on Thursday against the Panthers. Cornerback Delvin Breaux (fibula) didn't practice and is questionable.
  1. Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy (knee) practiced for the first time since Week 1, in a limited capacity. Defensive end Ziggy Ansah (ankle) and running back Theo Riddick (ankle) were both limited as well.
  1. Niners running back Carlos Hyde (shoulder) was a full participant. Wideout Torrey Smith (shoulder) didn't practice.
  1. Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls (leg) is "going to play considerably" Sunday if he gets through practice in good shape, coach Pete Carroll said.
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