After dislocating his ankle in Week 2, Griffin has returned to play two games, throwing three interceptions in two Washington losses. The team is 3-7 on the season.
"Clock's ticking. He's gotta play," said Gruden. "We'll see. ... We want Robert to excel, we really do. But the last two games, it hasn't been very good, anywhere. We gotta play better around him."
On Monday, Gruden criticized Griffin's play during a 27-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday, saying the quarterback "had some fundamental flaws." Later in the week, Gruden said it was a mistake to make his public criticism "all about one person."
The first-year coach told NFL.com that Griffin needs to be more consistent and said it's been "very difficult" for his staff to figure out how to build the offense around Griffin after he missed six weeks.
"His biggest thing, he's been coddled for so long. It's not a negative, he's just been so good, he just hasn't had a lot of negative publicity," Gruden said. "Everybody's loved him. Some adversity is striking hard at him now, and how he reacts to that off the field, his mental state of mind, how it affects his confidence, hopefully it's not in a negative way."
Washington plays the San Francisco 49ers (6-4) in San Francisco on Sunday.
- Molly Geary