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Robert Griffin III, quarterback for the Washington Redskins.
One of the most magical rookie seasons in NFL history almost ended early when Robert Griffin III, quarterback for the Washington Redskins (10-6, 4th seed in NFC), went down with a gruesome knee injury.
Miraculously, RGIII suffered only a grade-one lateral collateral ligament (LCL) sprain on the play.
In other words, his LCL, one of the four main ligaments that stabilize the knee, did not tear and merely over-stretched.
RGIII missed just one week due to the injury and started Week 16 and 17, looking great all the while.
However, as countless announcers, reporters and news anchors have noticed, the RGIII of today looks different from the RGIII of earlier this season.
Is he slower? Maybe. Can he not cut as well? Possibly.
Perhaps he is more tentative.
One thing is for sure—he is not the same. It is a safe bet that his knee ligament is both still hurting and likely still weaker than normal.
Whatever it is exactly, physical or psychological, RGIII cannot afford to miss a beat this postseason.
His first week back, he rushed only twice for four yards. His second, he threw for only 100.
Fortunately, the lowly Eagles stood no chance Week 16, and Alfred Morris' 200 yards took the pressure off of RGIII in Week 17.
However, the offense runs through him, and in the playoffs, one single misstep can decide a game.
Will such a misstep due to RGIII's knee end the Redskins' season?
Time will tell.
Dave Siebert is a medical/injury Featured Columnist who will graduate from medical school in June 2013. He plans to specialize in both Family Medicine and Primary Care (non-operative) Sports Medicine, and injury information discussed above is based on his own knowledge.