Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III suffered a concussion after a blow to the head from Atlanta Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, but this incident should not be a cause for lasting concern among RGIII’s fantasy owners.
Rich Campbell of The Washington Times reported via Twitter that head coach Mike Shanahan has spoken with his quarterback, and Griffin was not experiencing any severe symptoms from the hit.
Shanahan talked to RG3 within the last hour: "He's feeling good." No dizziness, vomiting or headaches. #Redskins— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) October 8, 2012
This does not mean Griffin is guaranteed to return to the field for this Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. But if he does miss the next game, that will almost certainly be the extent of his absence.
While the concussion will be not a long-term injury for Griffin, it does raise questions about his durability.
A large part of Griffin’s offensive arsenal is his running ability. His 241 rushing yards is the most among quarterbacks, as is his four touchdowns on the ground.
However, Griffin is 6’2” and 217 pounds, making him much closer in size to Michael Vick (6’0", 215 pounds) than Cam Newton (6’5”, 245 pounds). These two players rank No. 2 and No. 3 in both rushing yardage and attempts behind Griffin.
Due to Newton’s size, he is far less of an injury risk than Griffin and Vick. But the Redskins QB will not have the same nagging concerns over his health that the Eagles signal-caller does.
Vick is 32 years old and Griffin is just 22. Obviously, older players who have dealt with an accumulation of hits over their career are more injury-prone, but in addition, Griffin is still learning his limitations in the NFL.
A better quarterback comparison at this point in Griffin’s career is to the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, who dealt with concussions earlier in his career. Rodgers has been able to learn how to use his mobility effectively, but safely.
This is an ongoing process that Griffin certainly hasn’t mastered after just five NFL games. As he gets more experience, he will start to use the sideline better, slide more and learn how to avoid the type of vicious blows that he suffered on Sunday.
Taking that hit from Weatherspoon will be a valuable lesson for both Griffin and the Redskins coaching staff, and both will make adjustments to try to keep the franchise QB out of situations in which he is in danger of taking similar shots.
Going forward, fantasy owners do not need to seriously worry about Griffin's durability, and his production makes him worth the slight risk that comes with being a mobile quarterback in the NFL.