Robert Griffin III underwent reconstructive knee surgery Wednesday to… (L. Todd Spencer / Associated…)
Robert Griffin III underwent reconstructive knee surgery Wednesday and faces a challenging rehabilitation if he is to return for the start of next season.
The Washington Redskins quarterback had his lateral collateral ligament repaired and his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee reconstructed for a second time. The surgery was performed in Florida by orthopedist James Andrews, who was optimistic that Griffin would be back on the field this fall.
"We expect a full recovery, and it is everybody's hope and belief that due to Robert's high motivation, he will be ready for the 2013 season," Andrews said in a statement released by the Redskins. "The goal of his treatment is to give him the best opportunity for a long professional career."
Griffin tore the ACL in the same knee in 2009 while playing for Baylor, which could slow the recovery time from his latest injury.
Craig Bennett, the head team physician at the University of Maryland, said that football players typically need seven to 11 months to return from a second ACL reconstruction, but that it often takes up to a year for the ligament to be fully healed.
"Typically your first season back from an ACL reconstruction, there's a tendency to have some struggles from time to time," Bennett said.
That's what made Adrian Peterson one of this season's most remarkable stories. The Minnesota Vikings running back returned about eight months after tearing an ACL — and nearly broke the NFL's single-season rushing record.
"I think it gives motivation to everyone," said Russ Paine, a physical therapist in Houston who worked with Peterson during his rehab.
Griffin himself sounded an upbeat tone on Twitter just before the surgery began early Wednesday.
"Thank you for your prayers and support. I love God, my family, my team, the fans, & I love this game. See you guys next season," he tweeted.
While Griffin heals, the debate will continue as to whether he should have been on the field when he hurt the knee for a final time in the fourth quarter of Sunday's playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Griffin reinjured his knee in the first quarter and was obviously hobbled, but Coach Mike Shanahan said he trusted the quarterback's word that all was OK.
Chargers hire general manager
The San Diego Chargers hired Tom Telesco from the Indianapolis Colts to replace fired general manager A.J. Smith.
Team President Dean Spanos said hiring Telesco helps "to bring about positive change" for a team that missed the playoffs for three straight seasons and began losing a big piece of its fan base.
Telesco, 40, spent the last 15 seasons with the Colts, most recently as vice president of football operations. He had a hand in the moves that helped the Colts go from 2-14 in 2011 to 11-5 and the playoffs this season, including taking quarterback Andrew Luck with the first pick in April's draft.
Panthers hire Gettleman
The Carolina Panthers hired New York Giants senior pro personnel analyst David Gettleman as their new general manager to end their lengthy search to fill the position. The team announced the decision Wednesday afternoon after interviewing Gettleman earlier in the day.
Gettleman, 61, spent 13 seasons with the Giants as their director of pro personnel prior to taking over last year as the senior pro personnel analyst.
He has been a part of six Super Bowl teams, including three championship squads. He was with Buffalo in 1990 and 1991, Denver in 1997 and the Giants in 2000, 2007 and 2011. The '97 Broncos and the 2007 and '11 Giants won championships.
Gettleman replaces longtime Panthers GM Marty Hurney, who was fired after Carolina's 1-5 start.
The agent for Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said Wednesday night that his client had been released from an Indianapolis hospital and that they were finalizing details to begin interviewing for head-coaching jobs. Arians, a 60-year-old prostate cancer survivor, had been complaining of dizziness and migraines, conditions doctors believe were related to an inner-ear infection. ... New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton signed a five-year contract extension that will run through the 2017 season. Payton agreed to the deal in principle on Dec. 29. ... The Seattle Seahawks signed veteran kicker Ryan Longwell and defensive end Patrick Chukwurah after putting Steven Hauschka and Chris Clemons on injured reserve.