Fantasy Football News

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Putting the RGIII Injury to Rest: Shanahan Played Situation Correctly in Heat of Battle

Okay, here's the deal: We get that there are some Washington fans that are upset about rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III's knee injury towards the end of the Skins' first round playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks. That's understandable.

But calling for Griffin to have been benched before the re-occurring injury happened in the fourth quarter? Now that's where you're wrong.

Yes, Griffin appeared to tweak his sprained knee early in the game and came up limping afterwards. Luckily for the Skins, however, he didn't have to miss a play. It was a failed third down conversion and RGIII went directly to the bench after the play to get it taped up. The next drive he came back out ready to get back to work.

Then, there was a play halfway through the fourth quarter in which Griffin collapsed after once again hurting his knee. Down 21-14, Griffin and the Washington offense started the drive at its own 24-yard line. Griffin was sacked by fellow rookie Bruce Irvin for a 12-yard loss on the first play and, facing 2nd & long, fumbled the shotgun snap on the following play. In an attempt to recover his fumble, Griffin tweaked his injured knee and awkwardly collapsed, unable to get up as the Seahawks recovered the ball at Washington's 5-yard line.
It was at this point that Griffin couldn't get up on his own and needed assistance to get to the sidelines. With Dr. James Andrews on the Washington sidelines, Griffin and the Washington trainers/coaching staff made the decision to take RGIII out of the game. Which was the right move.

Seattle went on to score three more points with a 22-yard Steven Hauschka field goal four plays later. The Skins' second-string quarterback and rookie Kirk Cousins came into the game for the final two drives to attempt the comeback, but failed. Cousins finished 3-for-10 for 31 yards, failing on two fourth down conversions, as the Seahawks pulled away with the 24-14 victory.

Here's where the "controversy" comes in. Should Robert Griffin have been taken out of the game when he came up limping in the first half?

For some reason fans and a select few so-called experts seem to think that head coach Mike Shanahan and Dr. James Andrews handled the situation incorrectly and caused further damage to Griffin's knee injury.

Following the game Griffin stated that he told his coach he was good to go, and that's where another question mark pops up: should the decision to play or sit be put in the athletes' hands? Most say no, but I think this entire conversation is pointless.

If there was a big enough concern on Dr. Andrews' part, the coaching staff likely would have forced him to sit. Watching the game, you could see he was ready to go despite the limp. This is a playoff game, and the only reason that fans have a problem with this is because the Redskins lost the game. If they had ended up completing the comeback in the second half, there would be no concern over his knee and he would be branded a "hero" and/or "beast" by some.

This is ridiculous. You have to respect what Griffin III has done this season, and with his playing-style he will be taking hits and playing injured his entire career. Just look at guys like Brett Favre, Steve Young, Michael Vick, Ben Roethlisberger, etc. They played (or still are playing) injured on most occasions because of their respective playing styles. Favre and Young loved scrambling around for as long as possible and making risky throws on the run. Roethlisberger holds on to the ball as long as his line will allow him, waiting for a receiver to break-free from coverage. Vick, well, he's a lot like Griffin. Loves to take off with the ball himself and doesn't usually run out of bounds.
Fans love seeing players play through the pain and the knee injury clearly had effected his mobility in the previous two weeks yet there wasn't any concern from fans. Why? Because the Redskins won. Seattle outplayed the Redskins in the final three quarters of play and played mistake-free football. The better team that day came out on top, and the D.C. area seems to be making excuses for the loss and throwing their own coach under the bus.

There was no way you were peeling Griffin off the field (until the tweak late in the game that left Griffin unable to move). Also, take note that the injury was a freak accident. Without a bad snap Griffin would have been perfectly okay, but because his momentum took him one way while the ball went another, an awkward fall took place. There was no contact from any defenders.

So, while you guys continue to look for a way out of a third consecutive playoff exit at the hands of Seattle (last two playoff appearances ended at the hands of the 'Hawks), I will continue to believe that Griffin belonged in that game and that Kirk Cousins was not going to bail out the Redskins against Seattle's No. 1 defense.

I expect to see RGIII a bit more cautious when taking off with the ball once next season rolls around. If not, he will continue to play injured, whether you like it or not.

All this being said, for a young guy such as Griffin, he surely handles himself well and deals with the press as well as anyone in the league. We here at All-Out Blitz wish him a speedy recovery.

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By the way, more reaction from this past weekend's games, in addition to a preview of this weekend's Divisional match-ups, will be on the way in the next couple of days. Stick around for it!

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