Shanahan defends decision to play RG3
Robert Griffin III will fly to Pensacola, Fla., to be examined by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, Coach Mike Shanahan said Monday, a day after the Redskins’ quarterback was forced out of his team’s playoff game due to a knee injury.
“He’s going to have some more tests and a physical exam,” Shanahan said during his weekly Monday news conference. “We’re not sure right now, the extent of his knee [injury]. Anytime, you do have former ACL injury or an LCL, and you take a look at this MRI, sometimes it’s old injuries. That’s why he’s going to fly down there and see Dr. Andrews, get some new MRIs.”
Griffin suffered a Grade 1 sprain of the LCL in his right knee against the Ravens, missed the following game against the Browns and returned to the lineup in Philadelphia. In 2009, the standout rookie tore the ACL in the same as a sophomore at Baylor.
Dr. Andrews was on the Redskins’ sideline for Sunday’s 24-14 loss to Seattle, but it’s unclear if he reviewed the MRI that was administered to Griffin after the game, Shanahan said. The coach said it’s possible Dr. Andrews traveled from FedEx Field directly to Miami, where he’s scheduled to be on the sidelines for the college national title game on Monday night.
Asked if the MRI done Sunday revealed any damage, Shanahan sidestepped the question.
“I’m not going to speculate on that,” he said.
Griffin aggravated his knee in the first quarter as he scrambled toward the sideline. As he tossed a ball across his body, the knee buckled and he crumpled to the turf in pain. Griffin limped back to the huddle and tossed a touchdown pass a play later.
Griffin, though, was never the same. He completed only four of his next 10 pass attempts and under-threw a pass that was intercepted.
Griffin continued to play, despite ample evidence that he was no anywhere close to healthy. In the fourth quarter, RG3 galloped to the sideline on a designed run, gaining nine yards but running at what appeared to be about three-quarters speed. On the Redskins’ next series, Griffin was knocked out of the game when he reached for a low snap that ultimately ended up in the possession of Seahawks lineman Clinton McDonald. Griffin’s knee, meantime, appeared to bend awkwardly as he planted his foot in the turf.
Shanahan said there is no timetable for an answer on the extent of the damage, but it could be known within the next day or two.
“Right now, everything is totally speculation,” Shanahan said. “When I do know the extent of the injury, I’ll let you know.”
“Right now, I really don’t know,” he continued. “They want to take another look to make sure they are not looking at old injuries on the MRI.”