Robert Griffin III Taking Correct Approach to Week 1 Status

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistAugust 25, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 24: Quarterback Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins warms up before playing the Buffalo Bills during a preseason game at FedExField on August 24, 2013 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Robert Griffin III is fully aware that whether he plays in Week 1 isn't entirely up to him—and that's just fine.

According to the Redskins' Twitter account, the star quarterback recently addressed the developing situation that is his Week 1 status as he recovers from an ACL reconstruction surgery in the offseason. 

The most encouraging remark from Griffin's statements on the situation has to be the fact that he has ceded the power of the decision over to Dr. James Andrews and head coach Mike Shanahan. 

Although it puts him in the precarious situation of wanting to start and having no control over his own future, it shows the level of maturity that the star quarterback will need to enjoy a long and successful career in the NFL

The change in tune is a clear improvement from Griffin's approach to rehabbing his injured knee earlier in the preseason. The 23-year-old star expressed a desire to play in the preseason, telling Mike Jones of the Washington Post that he didn't like the timetable for his return. 

While there's an argument to be made that Griffin knows his own body and should be put in complete control of his status, that's an assertion that has already proven to get the quarterback in trouble.

Griffin first injured his knee in a Dec. 9, 2012 game against the Baltimore Ravens when he sprained his LCL. According to Dr. Andrews, via USA Today, Griffin came out for a play in that game, but didn't check with the doctor before putting himself back in:

"(Griffin) didn't even let us look at him," Andrews said. "He came off the field, walked through the sidelines, circled back through the players and took off back to the field. It wasn't our opinion.

"We didn't even get to touch him or talk to him. Scared the hell out of me."

Of course, Redskins fans remember from here that Griffin sat out the next week against the Cleveland Browns as Kirk Cousins led the team to victory before Griffin played in the last two games of the regular season and tore his ACL in the playoff game. 

The whole episode is an example of what can happen when a quarterback, like Griffin, is programmed to help his team win by any means necessary. On one hand, it's great that he has the confidence that says no one can help his team win like he can. 

But when he puts his long-term health and his team's future on the line as a result, he must be willing to listen to the medical experts that are looking out for his best interests. 

If Dr. Andrews or Shanahan feel that Griffin isn't ready to go by Week 1, he'll need to be ready to accept that and do what he can to help his team win. The dirty little secret about this Redskins team is that they don't need Griffin to win every week. 

Make no mistake, they need Griffin to reach their maximum potential and become Super Bowl contenders. But even without Griffin's dynamic athleticism and strong arm running the offense, this is a team that has talent all over the field. 

Even though the preseason isn't the greatest barometer for regular season success, the team's 3-0 record is still a testament to the overall depth that the Redskins have. When Griffin was unable to play against the Browns last season, Cousins picked up where he left off and the team's winning streak continued. 

With Griffin's status still up in the air in Week 1, he has to have faith in his teammates that they can get the job done while he completely recovers. 

His latest statements seem to show that he's ready to think in terms of the long-haul.