Robert Griffin III's knee is looking better.

The Washington Redskins quarterback was back at practice Thursday, dealing with the effects of a sprained right knee as the team prepared for Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns.

Griffin stretched and made some basic throws during the 20 minutes that the practice was open to reporters. The rookie was still favoring his right leg somewhat, but he was able to plant and throw more smoothly than he did during Wednesday's practice.

"You could see he was more comfortable," coach Mike Shanahan said. "He was improved over yesterday."

Shanahan said that he plans to wait as long as possible to announce whether Griffin or backup Kirk Cousins will start. He didn't confirm that the decision would come Sunday, only saying that "probably" will be the day he makes the call.

Saints' Vitt fires back

Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt said witnesses in the NFL's bounty investigation of the New Orleans Saints lied about him and the organization, and that their stories might change in federal court.

Alluding to a defamation lawsuit filed by Saints linebacker Jon Vilma, Vitt, of Blackwood, Camden County, and a graduate of Highland Regional High School, angrily said he feels the truth about the pay-for-pain system will come out before U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan, who is presiding over the pending case in New Orleans.

"If anybody's keeping a scorecard here, let's take a look at this," Vitt said. He referred back to his first meeting with reporters after the NFL released its bounty probe findings last March, in which he said, "At no point in time did our players ever cross the white line with the intention of injuring, maiming or ending the career of another player. That never took place."

Vitt's comments came a day after the Associated Press reported that former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams testified in recent NFL appeal hearings that he tried to stop the Saints' bounty program, only to be overruled by Vitt. The AP obtained transcripts from the closed-door hearings, which were held for Vilma and three other players who had been punished in the bounty probe.

Branch returns to Pats

Deion Branch is back at his Patriots locker, where his nameplate never was removed after the two times the team released him this season.

The 33-year-old wide receiver re-signed with New England after being cut and missing the last four games. He had been cut for the first time just before the season, then was re-signed after two games.

'72 Dolphins gather

Don Shula had the 1972 Miami Dolphins over to his house for dinner Thursday to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of their perfect season.

"It's going to be a wonderful evening for me to have them walk through the door," the Pro Football Hall of Fame coach said beforehand. "I can check them in and weigh them in and have them run gassers and the 12-minute run, and make life miserable for them remembering what I put them through."

The dinner in Miami is among the festivities this week for the 1972 team, which will be honored at the Dolphins game against Jacksonville on Sunday.

Crash probe goes on

The manslaughter case against Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent will likely require several more days of investigation by suburban Dallas police, authorities said.

Brent is free on bond after the Saturday morning accident that killed practice squad player Jerry Brown. Police from Irving, Texas, who say Brent was driving drunk, met with prosecutors from the Dallas County district attorney's office to discuss the case.

Tebow and the Wildcat

Tim Tebow's days of running the New York Jets' Wildcat-style offense appear over for now.

Rex Ryan said the backup quarterback, recovering from two broken ribs, will be active Monday night for the team's game at Tennessee, but will likely only play in the conventional offense if starter Mark Sanchez goes down with an injury. That means no Wildcat or participating as the punt protector on special teams.

This article contains information from Inquirer wire services.