Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
When Robert Griffin III hit the turf after taking a vicious hit to the front of his right knee, the entire Washington Redskins fanbase held its collective breath.
RGIII's MRI results helped it breathe again.
The Associated Press reported on Monday that RGIII suffered only a grade-one sprain of his lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and no other damage.
In other words, RGIII's LCL, or the ligament that connects the femur (thigh bone) and fibula (one of the bones of the lower leg) and also serves to coordinate their motion, was over-stretched.
Simply put, this is the best possible scenario that Redskins fans could have hoped for, as a grade-two strain (a partial tear) or grade-three strain (a complete tear) would have almost certainly sent RGIII to the sidelines for the rest of the season.
Erik Brady of USA Today Sports even reported on Monday that RGIII has not yet been ruled out for Week 15.
Nevertheless, even a grade-one strain can cause problems. The over-stretch of the ligament temporarily weakens the ligament until it heals, and a weakened ligament is prone to additional, more serious injury.
As mentioned, additional injury most likely would end RGIII's season, taking the Redskins' playoff chances with him.
The Redskins must handle the situation very carefully.
At 7-6, the Redskins are currently on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, despite their 31-28 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
Clearly, they need wins.
However, they also need a healthy RGIII.
Dave Siebert is a medical/injury Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and soon-to-be Family Medicine resident physician with plans to specialize in Primary Care (non-operative) Sports Medicine. The injury and anatomical information discussed is based on Dave's own clinical experience in the evaluation and management of sports injuries and concussions under the direct supervision of Sports Medicine physicians and concussion specialists.