It’s looking more and more unlikely. Several news reports, including here, here and here, are reporting that Robert Griffin III has torn his ACL and LCL. Coach Mike Shanahan is not saying what the MRI has shown, because he’s hoping for a miracle. RGIII will get a second opinion today with another well known orthopedic surgeon, James Andrews in Florida.
I strongly suspect that the Redskins coaches know that RGIII has torn (either partially or completely) both ligaments in his right knee. Didn’t we all know that it was very, very, bad when he took his last fall? Couldn’t we all see that his knees was bent in a way that no knee bends? (See above picture.) It reminded me of when LT broke Joe Theisman’s leg, that awful, unnatural, bend in the leg. I knew it, yet I wasn’t ready to admit it. Denial can be strong.
RGIII gave Washington such a wonderful season. It was the first time in over a decade that fans had some hope of the ‘Skins returning to the great team that it once was. So many people were so buoyed by what RGIII brought to the game. It was so exciting! We were all so hopeful! RGIII shirts were the fastest selling jerseys for any rookie, ever! More importantly, Griffin has been a wonderful role model for young Americans across the country. He praises God, he works hard, and has become the team leader by example. He comes from a strong, military, family with good values. They have taught him the value of hard work, to always thank God for the gifts that he has received, and how to quietly lead.
During the Seattle game, many, many, people were screaming for Mike Shanahan to be the adult in the room and take RGIII out of the game. Following the game, the argument was that if we had won, no one would have questioned Shanahan’s decision to leave RGIII in the game. I disagree. Even if we had won the game, would anyone argue that it was worth it to lose RGIII, even for one season? It was obvious that he was hurt and wouldn’t be playing any more games this year, so what was the point of leaving him in? So that Cousins could face Atlanta? Really? Would Atlanta have won by 3 touchdowns or 4? Shanahan was dead wrong to risk it all by leaving RGIII in the game after it was painfully obvious to everyone that he was injured.
The Redskins wouldn’t be taking RGIII to Florida if they weren’t hoping for a different outcome than what their own experts found. The Skins hire the best of the best in orthopedic surgeons and MRI equipment. They know the injuries to RGIII are very, very, bad. They are hoping against hope for other news but I seriously doubt that they’ll get it. Even if RGIII has ‘only’ re-torn his ACL, his recovery will be at least a year. He’ll never be able to play in the same way that he did this year. If has torn both ligaments, which it sounds like he has, and needs full reconstruction, he is not likely to ever play football again. RGIII could have been one of the best players to ever play the game. There is no justification for what Shanahan did to him. (These decisions should NEVER be left in the hands of the athlete, they always want to play. More on that subject here.) That’s exactly why Mike Shanahan is so reluctant to tell us the truth about RGIII’s injuries. He knows the truth, and knows that he let Griffin stay in the game when he should have taken him out, while costing Griffin his future, and the future of the Redskins. It’s all on Shanahan.
UPDATE: Passing the buck has begun. Dr. James Andrew claims he never cleared Griffin to return to the game although Shanahan has said it was Andrews who made the decision. It appears this has happened before.