I’m not entirely sure how Robert Griffin III’s leg didn’t snap in half. I wasn’t aware that the human knee was capable of bending in multiple directions, and after watching an endless loop of Griffin’s knee whip forwards after being hit by Ravens DE Haloti Ngata for, I don’t know, say 30 seconds (which was roughly 30 seconds too long), I kind of wish I remained ignorant of the fact.
Griffin’s injury, which came late in the fourth quarter of the Redskins upset win over the Baltimore Ravens, was the kind that made me wince, grit my teeth and rub my knee to make sure that it too was still intact.
It looked painful. Really painful.
And yet the Redskins’ rookie quarterback bravely (some may say foolishly) came back into the game after missing a single snap, though he only managed four more throws, completing two, before permanently leaving the game and being replaced by fellow rookie Kirk Cousins (that pick looks a lot smarter all of a sudden).
And now word comes via Mike Jones of the Washington Post that, not only did Griffin not suffer any serious damage after getting his leg cracked like a wishbone, he may not even miss a game:
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said that quarterback Robert Griffin III has a “mild sprain to his LCL.” Shanahan said that the sprain to the ligament, which is on the outside of the knee, is a “Grade 1″ category, but that there is no other structural damage to the knee. Griffin tore his ACL in the same knee in 2009, but that ligament is fine, Shanahan said.
There is some “mild swelling,” Shanahan said, but Griffin has not been ruled out for Sunday’s game at Cleveland. The hope is that with rehab, the swelling will go down and that Griffin will make a speedy recovery.
Though the fact that RG3 might not miss a single game quite possibly proves that he is in fact a superhuman, the Redskins young quarterback must make the injury a learning experience. If Griffin plans on having a long and successful career, he has to learn to avoid taking the big hit.
A few extra yards aren’t worth getting hurt.
Whether or not Griffin plays in next week’s ever-important match with the suddenly hot Cleveland Browns is a decision that will most likely come later in the week. Though Cousins is a solid young quarterback who may one day be a starter, the Redskins need Griffin back if they want to continue their push for the playoffs.
And yet it might be the right decision to rest Griffin next week, even if that hurts the Redskins’ chances of making the playoffs. Much like the Nationals decision to shut down their young ace, Stephen Strasburg, late in the season, the Redskins should do what is best for Griffin’s future.
If that means resting him for a week or two, then that’s what they should do.