This week's Monday edition of our NFL Google+ hangout -- "NFL Slam with Mark and Sam," starring Times NFL columnist Sam Farmer and Mark Thompson of "Mark and Brian" radio fame -- will start at 11:30 a.m. today on this blog post and will cover a host of topics.
One topic will include the injury to Robert Griffin III. As Farmer wrote Sunday,
"Griffin was wearing a brace on the knee because of a ligament sprain he had suffered in December, one that sidelined him for 11/2 games. Further, he had tweaked the knee on a pass in the first quarter, and he wasn't his typical speedy, graceful self after that.
"While the Seahawks are moving on to play at Atlanta in a divisional game, the Redskins are heading into the unknown, with their star player limping and questions about the judgment of their coach — why did Mike Shanahan keep him in the game? — that won't soon go away.
"In a league that preaches that the health and safety of players is paramount, the injury to Griffin was a nationally televised example of how words and deeds are not always in lock step. Shanahan sounded conflicted as he spoke to reporters after the game, not knowing the severity of his quarterback's injury.
"I talked to Robert throughout the whole game, trying to get a gut [feeling], trying to let him know that it was all right if he was injured, that there was nothing wrong with that," the coach said. "But you've got to do what's best for the football team. [He was] very strong, very adamant. Doesn't mean you're right in not taking him out, I'm just saying that his personality has that type of mind-set. . . . You appreciate that toughness."
"In an eye-opening revelation that surfaced before the game, Dr. James Andrews, a renowned surgeon, told USA Today that he had never cleared Griffin to return to the Dec. 9 game against Baltimore, when the quarterback was first injured. In the immediate aftermath of that injury, Shanahan told reporters that Andrews, who was on the sideline, had given his blessing to Griffin's reentering.
"Griffin limped off the field for one play that day, then returned for four before leaving again when it was clear he couldn't continue.
"After Sunday's game, Shanahan clarified the situation from the game a month earlier.
"At that time, I looked over at Dr. Andrews and he said, 'Yeah, he's OK to go back in,'" Shanahan said. "Of course, I'm sitting there trying to evaluate [backup quarterback] Kirk Cousins and our plays, so if somebody says, 'He's OK.' Well, what Dr. Andrews was talking about, and I talked to him today, he said, 'Hey, Robert came around, he started showing us that he could run. He was sprinting around, and then he just took off. I figured he was OK. I hadn't gone through a thorough examination until after the game.'"
"NFL Slam with Mark and Sam" is usually held every Monday and Friday at 11:30 a.m. You can watch it on this blog post. If you have questions for Mark and Sam, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to get them answered live during the chat.