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Photo: Christian Ponder’s Arm Looks Terrible, Wouldn’t Have Held Up Against the Packers Defense

While this weekend’s NFL action wasn’t particularly exciting, it did offer a bit of insight into the sort of decisions coaches and players have to make a on a regular basis as it pertains to injuries.

On one side you have Robert Griffin III, on the other you have Christian Ponder. Both were hurt. Both had to have known that, if they played, they would a.) not be able to perform to their usual levels and b.) that they could reinjure themselves.

Griffin decided to play regardless – now he is facing what some rumors have cited as a torn ACL. Ponder, for his part, decided not to risk it.

Both of their teams lost.

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(via Shari L. Gross)

At the end of the day, for all this talk about toughness and gritting your teeth through the pain, Ponder may end up being the big hero from this weekend. If Griffin really did reinjure his leg because he put himself in a terrible, no-win situation (let’s hope not), that will become a cautionary tale. The contrast between what he did and what Ponder did will only drive the point home further. 

Long-term health is more important than short-term results.

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