RG3 Injury Video: Dissecting Play That Further Damaged Robert Griffin III's Knee

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 06:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins is injured as he fumbles a low snap in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at FedExField on January 6, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

All of Washington continues to hold its breath regarding the full extent of the knee injury Robert Griffin III suffered during Sunday's Wild Card Game loss to the Seattle Seahawks

The Washington Redskins and head coach Mike Shanahan announced on Monday that Griffin would be seeking a second opinion after the results of an MRI were inconclusive. 

Shanahan was quick to point out that any talk about what the injury to Griffin might be is "total speculation."

Mark Maske and Mike Jones of The Washington Post reported that Griffin's initial MRI suggests "possible partial tears of his anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments." They also said it is not clear right now if he will need surgery or how long recovery would be if these are new injuries. 

While we await more concrete information on the extent of Griffin's injury, we wanted to take a closer look at the play that ended his season. In case you forgot, it occurred on a bad snap halfway through the fourth quarter when the Redskins were trailing 21-14. 



Before we dive into this specific play, it is important to look at everything that led up to that moment. Griffin originally suffered a sprained knee on December 9 against Baltimore. He missed the next game against Cleveland before returning for the final two regular-season games. 

It was obvious in those final two games, against Philadelphia and Dallas, that Griffin was limited in what he could do. He didn't have the same burst when he ran, which made him more of a pure pocket passer. 

On the date of the playoff game, Robert Klemko of USA Today wrote an article with quotes from Dr. James Andrews saying that he never cleared Griffin to go back into the Baltimore game and how concerned he was about the knee. 

"I've been a nervous wreck letting him come back as quick as he has," admitted Andrews. "He's doing a lot better this week, but he's still recovering and I'm holding my breath because of it."

Early in Sunday's game, Griffin took a shot from a Seahawks defender and went down. When he got back up, his already noticeable limp seemed to be even more prevalent.

After throwing his second touchdown pass to put the Redskins up 14-0, Griffin was a shell of his former self. He couldn't plant in the pocket, which threw his accuracy off. He couldn't move around outside the pocket, which gave Seahawks defenders an easier path to take him down. 

It was clear early in the second quarter that something wasn't right with Griffin. 


The Snap

After two quarters of wincing just trying to watch Griffin play the game, everything finally came to a head with just over six minutes left in the fourth quarter. 

The Redskins were down by a touchdown with the ball deep in their own territory. Center Will Montgomery delivered a bad snap that Griffin had to scramble around and try to cover up. 

In the process of going after the ball, Griffin's injured right knee bent in a way that knees are not supposed to bend. It was at that moment when the rookie quarterback went down and wasn't able to get back up. 

What makes you more nervous about the injury is the fact that Griffin was never touched when he went down. At least if a Seahawks defender had driven him into the ground after the bad snap, you could have a better read on the situation. 

But as you can see from the video, Griffin is never touched before he goes down. He scrambles to get the ball, then it takes a funny hop, his body turned one way and his knee went the other way. 

According to WebMD, the ACL can be injured when the knee joint bends backwards, side to side or twists. You can clearly see why there is speculation about a possible ACL injury, though the Redskins are hoping to dodge that particular bullet. 


The Aftermath

As soon as Griffin went down, you knew he was done. It is going to be debated all offseason, especially if the second opinion comes back with the worst, whether Griffin should have been in the game at that point. 

Given how limited he was even prior to the bad snap, Shanahan had to see the forest for the trees. Of course Griffin was going to say that he was good enough to stay in this game—he is a competitor playing in his first NFL playoff game. 

That moment when Griffin's knee gave out could have serious long-term ramifications on his future and the direction of the Washington Redskins franchise. We will know more soon, but the fact that the team is in this position is bad news. 



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