RG3 Knee: Major Surgery Leaves Washington Redskins' Future in Tatters

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 06:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins receives attention after he was injured on a bad 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

UPDATE: Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 1:40 a.m.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen is reporting on Twitter that Griffin will in fact be having a total knee reconstruction. The recovery time for Griffin will be around six to eight months:

Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will undergo total reconstruction of knee for complete tear of ACL and LCL. Recovery projection: 6-8 mos.

— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 9, 2013

Mortensen also reported that Dr. James Andrews will be performing surgery on Griffin's knee. His injury is a tear of the graft that was a result of the knee surgery Griffin underwent in 2009 at Baylor:

Dr. James Andrews will perform surgery in about 6 hours. Diagnosis already made that ACL graft of @rgiii's 2009 surgery is complete tear

— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 9, 2013

---End of Update---

When Robert Griffin III went down, the hopes the Washington Redskins had of building a contender went down with him.

Every NFL fan cringed when RGIII's right cleat got stuck in the FedEx Field turf. Griffin was one of the most electrifying players in the league.

Now you have to wonder how he'll recover. The Washington Post is reporting that RGIII will require surgery for a torn lateral collateral ligament in his right knee.

The story quoted a doctor who said that a torn LCL could mean a rehabilitation of eight to 12 months. That doctor, though, didn't have any knowledge to the extent of Griffin's injury.

When he does return, what kind of QB will Griffin be? So much of his game is the fact that he can scramble out of the pocket and bring a different dimension to the quarterback position. Without that superb mobility, RGIII could become simply an average passer.

His injury was eerily similar to Carson Palmer's in the 2005 playoffs. On the Cincinnati Bengals' first play from scrimmage, Palmer suffered tears to his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments after Kimo von Oelhoffen rolled on Palmer's legs.

At the time, the Bengals were one of the most exciting teams in the league. Palmer rehabbed like crazy to get back in time for the 2006 season. He was never the same again, and the Bengals never really recovered from that loss.

The Bengals had to rebuild their team to get back to the playoffs. All of this and Palmer was simply a pocket-passer who had next to no mobility after the injury.

Sure the Redskins have Kirk Cousins, but he's an unproven commodity. He may be successful, but when Griffin returns, he'll likely take over the starting duties again, unless Cousins absolutely lights it up.

Then what would happen to Griffin? Washington would have a No. 2 overall pick holding a clipboard.

Of course you also have to look at the king's ransom that Washington surrendered in order to secure the No. 2 pick in last year's draft.

The Redskins parted with their first-round and second-round picks last year in addition to first-rounders in 2013 and 2014.

Getting fair value for that deal already looked like an improbability.

The Harvard College Sports Analysis Collective determined that RGIII would have to be as good as Tom Brady in order for the Redskins to have gotten fair value from the trade. Those results were amended a few days later to say that Griffin simply had to be one of the best quarterbacks ever.

That's all but an impossibility now.

Washington bet the house on Griffin. It was always going to be risky banking so much on a mobile QB who was likely to take more hits than most at his position.

The deal will likely serve only as a cautionary tale now.