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White paces Redskins' win over Buccaneers

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The Canadian Press
8/30/2013 12:11:11 AM
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TAMPA, Fla. -- Robert Griffin III tweeted the good news. It's simply not official yet.

The Washington quarterback was cleared Thursday by his surgeon to be under centre when the regular season opens for the Redskins on Sept. 9. However, coach Mike Shanahan hedged after a preseason-ending 30-12 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"There's a couple of concerns that he has," Shanahan said to reporters. "I'll talk to Robert over the weekend, and I'll let you guys know on Monday."

The Redskins did not make Griffin available to answers questions. His teammates, however, expect the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year to start against Philadelphia.

"That's just the type of player Robert is, just his will and determination to be back on that field. I'm not surprised, and I'm looking forward to him coming out and having a good game," running back Alfred Morris said.

Fourth-stringer Pat White threw for 181 yards, set up a touchdown with a 66-yard completion to Dezmon Briscoe, and also ran for a TD to help the Redskins finish the preseason 4-0 for the first time in 28 years.

Shanahan rested most of his starters, including Griffin, who worked out at Raymond James Stadium for about 30 minutes before walking off the field with Dr. James Andrews. Andrews was in town to examine the quarterback's surgically repaired right knee.

Griffin, who's been practicing without any reported setbacks, participated in the coin toss as a Redskins captain and watched the game from the sideline. When it ended, he tweeted: "Operation Patience complete: cleared."

"It definitely aids us when we have him coming back with us, but even if he wasn't able to be back Week 1, we have Kirk Cousins, we have Rex (Grossman) and we have Pat (White)," Morris said. "Those guys are able to make plays as well. But it definitely helps us knowing our starting quarterback is going to be back."

Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman also sat out the finale, as did Bucs cornerback Darrelle Revis, who's recovering from knee surgery that sidelined him most of last season with the New York Jets.

With backup Kirk Cousins out with a sprained right foot, White played the entire game for the Redskins.

Safety Brandon Meriweather started and played the opening half for Washington, seeing his first game action since November, when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the only game he played. The Redskins are counting on him to shore up a weakness in their secondary.

"He was fine," Shanahan said. "I thought he played well, and it's nice to get him back in the lineup."

Meriweather wasn't credited with any tackles, but said "it felt good to run around, to actually hit somebody besides my own teammates. ... It felt good just to be out there, period."

Evan Royster rushed for 59 yards and a touchdown in his bid to win a job as a backup running back. Another young running back vying to make the roster, rookie Chris Thompson, scored on a 69-yard punt return.

Tampa Bay (1-3) finished a mostly unimpressive preseason with another sloppy performance.

With a healthy Freeman looking ahead to the Bucs' season opener against the Jets, third-round draft pick Mike Glennon played like a rookie in completing 7 of 16 passes for 63 yards and one interception. He also lost a fumble when the ball appeared to just slip out of his hand before his arm began moving forward to throw.

"Tonight is the first time he looked like a rookie. He struggled a little bit," Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano said. "That's not just him, obviously, but I'm sure when he watches this he'll say he wishes he had done this and done that."

Linebacker Najee Goode scored Tampa Bay's only touchdown, returning a second-quarter interception 37 yards. Derek Dimke missed the extra point, hitting the right upright -- one of several sloppy moments for the Bucs, who turned the ball over twice while falling behind 27-6 at the half.

Dan Orlovsky replaced Glennon late in the third quarter and led a field goal drive for Tampa Bay, which sputtered offensively throughout the preseason.

In three exhibitions, Freeman was 12 of 26 for 101 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. He was sacked nine times.

Pat White (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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