When the Washington Redskins selected Robert Griffin III second overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, they invested more in him than three future first-round picks. The Redskins invested the long-term future of their franchise in a young man.
The decision to allow RG3 to play on an injured knee was a mistake that cannot be overstated. It is the kind of mistake that could take years off of his career. Griffin is asked to do everything for the Redskins’ offense, which is why the decision to play him was so confusing.
Griffin clearly wasn’t even close to being 100 percent. In his condition, he was actually hurting his team. Kirk Cousins would have given the Redskins a much better chance of beating the Seattle Seahawks.
The Redskins 24-14 loss to Seattle on Wild Card Weekend was not nearly as gruesome as RG3’s knee injury. Redskins fans cringed watching his knee buckled at a 45-degree angle.
Why would a team jeopardize so much for one game?
The NFL is understandably a win-at-all-costs league, but not when the entire franchise rests on the shoulders of one player. In this situation, the risk simply does not outweigh the reward.
The decision came back to bite Redskins coach Mike Shanahan in a significant way.
Shanahan was criticized early in his tenure as the Redskins’ head coach. The media claimed he lost his edge and no longer cared about winning.
Well, he won’t ever hear that again.
Witnessing RG3 writhe in pain was tough, especially if you saw the way his knee gave out on him. It makes one question Shanahan’s decision.
Everything the Redskins have said just doesn’t add up. It’s fishy, and the team’s handling deserves some serious criticism.
Dr. James Andrews is an orthopedic surgeon who also serves as the Redskins’ team doctor. He is widely considered the most respected doctor in the field of sports medicine. His comments about RG3’s apparent injury completely contradict Shanahan’s statements.
Andrews never even cleared RG3 to continue playing against the Seahawks, USA TODAY‘s Rover Klemko reported. Andrews told USA TODAY Sports he was “scared to death” about RG3 playing in a bulky knee brace.
In a situation like RG3′s injury, the head coach needs to be a leader and take emotion out of the decision. Yes, it’s obvious the Redskins desperately wanted to advance in the postseason. Every team that makes the playoffs wants a chance at the Lombardi Trophy. The fact of the matter is that Shanahan seriously jeopardized the future health of his young franchise quarterback for that chance.
Griffin told Shanahan he could play, SBNATION‘s Andrew Sharp reported.
What 22-year-old star wouldn’t tell his coach that?
RG3 is young and his vision was clouded, which is to be expected. A 60-year-old head coach has the experience to say to a young player that the best decision is to play another day.
Reports have already surfaced that should have Redskins fans extremely concerned. According to the Washington Post, several sources with close knowledge of the situation believe RG3 may have suffered at least partial tears of two major knee ligaments.
What’s even more concerning is the fact that RG3 previously tore an ACL in the same knee his sophomore year at Baylor. Durability is more important than ever in the NFL.
Shanahan started RG3 so the Redskins could win the playoff game. In the end, they lost. Therefore, absolutely nothing justifies Shanahan’s decision to keep him in the game.
As much praise as the Redskins received earlier this season, this last game’s criticism will surely outweigh it. This is the same old Redskins organization wo which we are accustomed. The Daniel Snyder circus is still in town to the utter distaste of diehard ‘Skins fans.
Blame will deservedly be thrown around the Redskins’ organization for quite some time, especially if RG3 is indeed seriously injured.
I say rightfully so.
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