RG3 could become Adrian Peterson 2.0

Posted: January 10, 2013

IF ADRIAN PETERSON can do it, maybe Robert Griffin III can, too.

Peterson set an incredible standard this season for NFL players returning from major knee surgery, nearly breaking the NFL single-season rushing record. Griffin need look nowhere else for an inspiration as the Washington Redskins quarterback begins the road back from an operation Wednesday on two ligaments in his right knee.

"I think it gives motivation to everyone," said Russ Paine, a physical therapist in Houston who worked with Peterson as the Minnesota Vikings running back went through rehab.

Griffin had his lateral collateral ligament repaired and his ACL reconstructed for a second time. The surgery was performed in Florida by orthopedist James Andrews, who was optimistic that Griffin would be back on the field this fall.

"We expect a full recovery, and it is everybody's hope and belief that due to Robert's high motivation, he will be ready for the 2013 season," Andrews said in a statement released by the Redskins. "The goal of his treatment is to give him the best opportunity for a long professional career."

Peterson tore an ACL in late December 2011 and was the league's best back in 2012. Paine said Peterson's focus and intensity in rehab and natural athletic gifts made the quick recovery possible. Many say Griffin has those same qualities, and he was sounding an upbeat tone on Twitter even before the surgery began early Wednesday morning.

"Thank you for your prayers and support. I love God, my family, my team, the fans, & I love this game. See you guys next season," Griffin tweeted.

Noteworthy * 

The agent for Indianapolis offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said Wednesday night that his client has been released from an Indianapolis hospital and that they are finalizing details to begin interviewing for head coaching jobs.

Earlier in the day, a league source told the Associated Press that doctors were still trying to determine the extent of a health problem that forced one interview to be pushed back. Mike Brown, Arians' agent, denied there had been any change to Arians' schedule.

Arians, a 60-year-old prostate-cancer survivor and former Temple coach, has been complaining of dizziness and migraine headaches, conditions doctors believe is related to an inner-ear infection, the person told the AP.

The Eagles, Browns and Bears have gotten permission to talk to Arians, and San Diego also is said to be interested.

* Former New York Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine Jr. was hired by Buffalo, ESPN reported. Pettine, who formerly coached at North Penn and William Tennent, is the son of the longtime Central Bucks West coach.

* New Orleans coach Sean Payton signed a 5-year contract extension that will run through the 2017 season. Financial terms were not disclosed. Payton, who was suspended for the entire 2012 season in connection with the NFL's bounty investigation, can return to work Feb. 4, the day after the Super Bowl.

Payton has primarily handled the offense in New Orleans, teaming up with quarterback Drew Brees to break numerous NFL and club records. The single-season NFL records set by the Saints in 2011 included yards passing by a team (5,505) and a quarterback (5,476). They also set a record for total offensive yards (7,474).

* Seattle signed veteran kicker Ryan Longwell and defensive end Patrick Chukwurah after placing Steven Hauschka and Chris Clemons on injured reserve.

* Green Bay wide receivers Jordy Nelson (ankle) and Randall Cobb (flu) should be ready for Saturday's NFC divisional playoff game at San Francisco despite missing practice.

* Cleveland interviewed Carolina offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski for its coaching job.

* Carolina hired New York Giants senior pro personnel analyst David Gettleman as its general manager. Gettleman, 61, replaces longtime Panthers GM Marty Hurney, who was fired after Carolina's 1-5 start.

* San Diego hired Tom Telesco from Indianapolis to replace fired general manager A.J. Smith. Telesco, 40, spent the last 15 years with the Colts, most recently as vice president of football operations.