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RG3 knee injury: Coach Mike Shanahan should not have let him play

January 07, 2013|By Sam Farmer
  • Robert Griffin III injured his knee on this play.
Robert Griffin III injured his knee on this play. (Al Bello / Getty Images )

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Redskins’ season is over, but everyone here waited Monday for the other MRI to drop.

The severity of quarterback Robert Griffin III’s knee injury has not been announced, but what he said after the game indicated the injury is worse than the sprain he suffered in December. He endured a torn anterior cruciate ligament in college, and after the December injury he said he knew immediately that it didn’t feel like another torn ACL.

After the injury in Sunday’s loss to Seattle, Griffin didn’t sound so confident.

“Honestly, it’s up in the air right now,” Griffin said.  “I know coming off the field I thought it was just the same thing [a ligament sprain].  But right now, we’ll see what it is.

“No matter what it is, our season’s over right now, and I’ve just got to make sure that I get back healthy no matter what the injury is.”

It’s perplexing that Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan left him in the game, even though Griffin was clearly a shell of himself, at one point half-running, half-skipping on a painful-looking run to the sideline.

Shanahan emphasized after the game that Griffin has earned the right to decide whether he can play or not. But the coach knows, of course, that there’s no way a player with such a competitive streak would ever pull himself out of a game, and especially a playoff game. Griffin came out after he could barely walk.

If Shanahan were waiting for Griffin to pull himself out, he’d still be waiting. Griffin would have been on the field until the bitter end.

The coach cannot slough off that decision on a player. Coaches are paid to make the tough decisions. And in this case, Shanahan should have considered the long-term consequences, and the general well-being of a player who was breaking down before our eyes.

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