RGIII Can Pout, but Washington Redskins Are Smart to Save Rookie QB for Playoffs

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent IDecember 17, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 16:  Quarterback Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins walks by quarterback Kirk Cousins #12 against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 16, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Robert Griffin III isn't happy with the Washington Redskins' decision to shelve him in Week 15, but the truth of the matter is the team made the smartest decision it could make to save the dynamic rookie for the playoffs. 

Per Dave Sheinen of the Washington Post:

"Players play, so I was not happy with the decision,” Griffin said flatly. “But at the end of the day, that’s the decision they went with. I respect that, but it doesn’t mean I necessarily have to like it. They said [they were] just protecting me from myself, not allowing me to go out there and put myself in harm’s way."

You can't blame the young man from expressing his deep frustration about being shut down when the team desperately needed a win, but this is a clear example of a player not realizing what's best for himself or for his team.

Knee injuries are nothing to mess around with, and according to Sheinen's report, team doctors weren't ready to sign off on RG3's LCL being ready for live game action. The worst possible outcome for the Redskins and Griffin at this point is if he were to suffer an even greater injury to his knee, possibly keeping him out of the playoffs and beyond. 

As good as Kirk Cousins has played for the four-plus quarters, he doesn't give the Redskins the same chance to go deep in the playoffs as Griffin.

While Cousins was certainly impressive against the Cleveland Browns, it's going to be a different story when the Redskins go up against the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers—teams with stifling defenses that will eat Cousins alive.

It's not yet known whether or not Griffin will be medically cleared to play in Week 16 against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Skins' really shouldn't have a problem beating the Eagles without Griffin, though, and it wouldn't hurt him to sit another game out so he can come back fully healthy and ready to lead his team to victory in the playoffs.

Players want to play, but it's not always in their best interest to do so. This is one of those times for Griffin and the Redskins, and as much as we respect him for his desire to fight with his teammates, discretion is the better part of valor. 


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