This season Robert Griffin III (with some help by a fellow named Albert Morris) took the Washington Redskins from the brink of obscurity to the brink of escaping Wild Card Weekend. The freshman impressed his critics (including myself) all season doing his best “Micheal Vick in Madden 2005” routine every game. Coming into the this weekend’s match up with the Seattle Seahawks, RG3 had the potential to buck the racial stereotype that African American quarterbacks are nothing more than glorified running backs. Twenty touchdowns paired with only five interceptions and a QB rating of 102? Over 3000 passing yards? This guy was showing us he was capable of more, that he was a little more Warren Moon and a little less Marcus Vick (that’s two different Vick references in one paragraph guys.)
Cue the Friday the 13th music.
Enter head coach Mike Shanahan.
RG3 was injured heading into Sunday’s game in Washington. Wearing a brace on his knee he played like Elastic Man, bouncing off linebackers and defensive ends and finding his way between the chains. Watching him play that first quarter was probably the closest I’ll ever get to watching my son play professional sports. Hanging over every play was the possibility of stray Seahawks shoulder or helmet clipping his already bum knee, putting his, and the Redskins, season on the line. The eventuality won out in the fourth quarter. Trying to salvage a botched snap, RG3’s lame knee twisted and turned in the crisp Maryland air, and as he lay on the ground it was as if a million voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
BUT YO IT DIDN’T HAVE TO HAPPEN IF MIKE SHANAHAN WOULD JUST LISTEN TO HIS DOCTORS.
You see, Griffin got hurt during a December 9th game, and after a few plays removed himself from the game. He was looked at by Dr. James Andrews, who subsequently told Mike Shanahan that the kid was fine and could play. Except for the whole part where he didn’t.
“(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.” (via USA TODAY)
So to put things bluntly, Mike Shanahan murdered Robert Griffin III, or at least may have attempted manslaughter on his career. Two harsh knee injuries in under a month? Sure the kids got all offseason to rehab which is good. But you know what, one time when I was a kid I was running down the stairs, slipped and fell. Broke my wrist. Did I stop running down the stairs? Fuck no. But did I do it a bit more hesitantly the following times, knowing that I was one slip up from hurting myself again? You bet. I really hope we see the “real” RG3 next year. Something tells me we might, but he’ll be more hesitant and cautious, and unfairly, less impactful. You don’t want to fall down the stairs again.