Ambiguous reports of alleged recommendations from Dr. James Andrews relating to Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III's recovery from offseason knee surgery have recently surfaced, leading to a he-said, she-said game in the media. Whether or not Andrews made the recommendation to keep Griffin on the sideline until the team's Week 5 bye, the team should hold their quarterback out of game action until then.
Griffin was the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, landing with a woeful Redskins ball club in desperate need of a spark offensively. The signal-caller provided just that, garnering Offensive Rookie of the Year honors and leading Washington to the playoffs.
Source tells me that the report that James Andrews told the #Redskins to sit Robert Griffin until after the bye week is erroneous.— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) August 17, 2013
That said, the quarterback was unable to finish the season in one piece, tearing both his ACL and LCL over the course of the last few contests of the season. Dr. Andrews performed surgery on Griffin, reconstructing the LCL and revising the 2009 reconstruction of Griffin's ACL necessitated by a tear the field general sustained at Baylor.
Last season, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson took just nine months to recover from a torn ACL and MCL and went on to put up one of the best single season performances of all time at the running back position, breaking the 2,000-yard threshold on the ground and carrying his Vikings into the postseason.
Peterson set the recovery bar ridiculously high and to expect Griffin to match the 2,000-yard rusher is both unreasonable and unfair.
Of course, the quarterback is itching to get back on the field. As a competitor, Griffin would shock us if he was doing anything other than pushing the coaching staff and medical team to get him in the starting lineup.
Robert Griffin III: "There's no doubt I'm playing Week 1."— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 12, 2013
While his drive is inspiring, Griffin is the long-term future of the Redskins and coach Mike Shanahan mortgaged the team's future to land him. Taking any risks with a twice-torn ACL is ill-advised and Washington needs to consider the potential long-term repercussions of rushing their superstar back on the field.
Shanahan has already taken a stand by holding Griffin out for the entirety of the preseason. While it wouldn't be a popular decision, it'd protect the best interests of both the franchise and Griffin, who can't be fully healthy if the coach isn't even yet comfortable letting him run a series or two in a preseason game, to sideline the quarterback until Week 5.
Consider the Redskins have a capable backup quarterback in Kirk Cousins. The Michigan State alum proved in 2012 that he's competent enough to hold down the fort should Griffin sustain injury and that opportunity now abounds.
In the grand scheme of things, having Griffin healthy for the next 10 years is much more important than squeezing four games out of him at the start of 2013.