Robert Griffin III Knee Injury Will Require Total Reconstructive Surgery

Derek CrouseContributor IIIJanuary 9, 2013

Will RG3 ever be the same?
Will RG3 ever be the same?Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

According to ESPN, Robert Griffin III has tears to the ACL and LCL in his knee. He will undergo total reconstructive surgery on his knee. Watching the way that knee turned, we have to wonder just how damaged the knee truly is.

Will the injury take away the explosiveness of the college track star? Only time will tell if his style of play will have to be altered. There were certain qualities in his game that made him successful, and those abilities are at risk, particularly playing hurt.

When the playoffs start in the NFL, just about every player on the field is fighting pain from a grueling regular season. Being in multiple collisions on a weekly basis isn’t exactly low-risk.

The veterans have to deal with resurfacing ailments from years past, and the younger players are learning how to recover while dealing with pain simultaneously.

Playing injured can be a fine line to walk. Trainers, doctors, coaches and the player have to collectively make decisions that are bound to stir up criticism. Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan dealt with disparagement after the Wild Card Game loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

It seemed that people from all media outlets had their own take on the situation. Remember, this is the same doctor who has treated just about every star athlete in sports.

Andrews' reputation is stellar, and he was recently recognized for helping Adrian Peterson come back sooner than estimated from a knee injury.

Prior to the playoff game, there was speculation as to who exactly gave the green light for RG3 to play and who would decide when or if to pull him. His viability came into question when he started showing signs of pain in the first quarter.

With an early 14-point lead, Griffin was showing many signs of a partial tear already.

Why didn’t Dr. James Andrews and Mike Shanahan see the signs that so many other fans and experts observed?

Running quarterbacks don't have a great track record in terms of longevity, consistency or availability. 

Michael Vick is a great example. He has taken quite a beating over the years and usually can’t be counted on to play every game in an entire season. Like a pitcher who sustains multiple injuries to the arm, a scrambling quarterback with bad knees and legs will not be effective.

This can create a problem for the coach, because the backup usually doesn’t have the skill set to play that style of offense, so play-calling becomes an issue.

In the end, the player will have the final say when it comes to pain if it occurs between the whistles. The tide turns to the coaches and doctors having the final say once an X-ray or an MRI shows damage prior to or after a game.

Then, that player may try to be a hero and play on a bum knee, taking the risk of permanently destroying the knee—as well as his career.