In a story first reported by the Washington Post, orthopedic surgeon James Andrews did not approve QB Robert Griffin III’s return to the Dec. 9 game during which he injured his right knee, but it was not coach Mike Shanahan who sent him back onto the field.
According to both Shanahan and Andrews, Griffin hobbled off the field for one play, patted a few backs on the sidelines and trotted back on field before anyone could look at him.
“Coach Shanahan didn’t lie about it, and I didn’t lie,” Andrews explained. “[He] looks at me like, ‘Is he alright?’ and I give him the ‘Hi’ sign, as in, ‘He’s running around, so I guess he’s okay.”
Two plays later, Griffin was out for good.
The decision to play him in the Wild Card game against the Seahawks was not a light one, but initial MRI results didn’t show anything more than minor problems. After going down for the first time in Sunday night’s game, you could see there was no spring in his step. Negating the threat of a Griffin run choked up the lanes for Redskins’ top rushed Alfred Morris. The passing game was severely affected because Griffin couldn’t plant his right foot when attempting a pass. There went to very powerful weapons in the Redskin arsenal.
Let’s also not forget the condition FedEx Field was in. It looked bad as they went down to the end of the regular season, and you would have thought the grounds crew would spruce it up in prep for an NFC Wild Card game, but even commentators Joe Buck and Troy Aikman had a few words to say about it before opening kickoff.
‘Skins fans can blame Shanahan for not pulling Griffin after he went down the first time. They can blame Andrews for not checking him out for the down he sat out against the Ravens on Dec. 9. Blame the field, blame the owner Dan Snyder because, well, that’s who Redskins fans love to blame. But after all is said and done, this is a franchise QB who needs to be protected, and he can’t protect himself from himself. Had Griffin taken it easy on Dec. 9 instead of playing the superhero role he plays so well, had someone knocked him in the helmet and told him to sit down, he might have done less initial damage to his LCL.
As of today, MRIs are showing partial tears to his ACL, too.