Reports are indicating that Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is on pace to recover from his brutal knee injury and subsequent surgery in time to play in the first week of the regular season this September. As impressive as medical science is nowadays, especially when it comes to multi-million dollar professional athletes, it does seem a tad early to be predicting that Griffin will be ready to play when week one rolls around this fall. Besides, why would the Redskins want to bring him back so quickly? Have they learned nothing from what got them in this situation to begin with?
Anyone who saw Griffin in Washington’s playoff game against Seattle, even before he suffered the knockout blow that sent the Seahawks to the next round and sent Griffin to the operating table, could tell that something was wrong, that his performance was hindered, and that he probably shouldn’t be playing. In the NFL, there’s a fine line between playing hurt and playing injured, and Griffin had crossed it; he was playing injured, and he shouldn’t have been on the field. It’s not as if all Griffin had to do was endure a few painful steps as he dropped back before delivering the ball, his game is predicated on his ability to run and be a mobile quarterback.
Clearly, his ability to run was compromised, as was his safety, as he was unable to protect his already injured knee. Eventually, Griffin fell to the ground in what was a painful scene to watch, causing an unknown amount of additional damage to his knee. So, after allowing Griffin to play when he shouldn’t have been, the Redskins appear to be in the midst of repeating that same mistake, by keeping the window open for a return in time for week one of the 2013 season.
It’s as if the Redskins don’t understand anything about the situation at all. If they expect Griffin to be their franchise quarterback, they need to understand that there will be games further down the line, for years to come, that will be far more important than the first few games they’ll play in 2013, and that having Griffin available for those games is more important than having him available at the start of this season.
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Washington also doesn’t seem to understand how high the injury risk is with Griffin, especially coming off this injury, as well as the knee injury he had while at Baylor. He is a small and rather thin quarterback that is constantly leaving the pocket and putting himself in vulnerable positions; his chance of injury is much higher than other quarterbacks and his ability to withstand hits is much lower than bigger quarterbacks. Injuries will be inevitable, and to a certain extent, unavoidable for Griffin throughout his career, so if the Redskins want his career with them to last, they need to ensure that he is fully recovered and healthy before they allow him back on the field, especially with this first major injury of his pro career.
After all, Washington made the wise choice of drafting Kirk Cousins last year to be Griffin’s backup, and Cousins proved how capable of a backup he was by leading the Redskins to a comeback victory against the Ravens in relief of Griffin and then a win the following week against the Browns as the starter. The Redskins need to realize that they are in good hands with Cousins and come to the realization that they need to exhibit patience with Griffin whenever he needs to return from injury. They already made that mistake once, and they’d look awfully foolish if they made it again. To even put a potential return date on Griffin at this point would be a terrible mistake, and if the Redskins continue to make that mistake, they put their franchise quarterback at great risk.