“The city is crying right now…” @fmwsl tweet – 12/9/12- 3:58 pm
My view on TV was one of the most horrific moments I have ever witnessed in real time. Robert Griffin III, the ROOKIE Redskin Quarterback who we invested in so much, has went down on what looked like an ugly hit on to his knee. As the play came to an end, my insides jumped at the sight of Ravens’ safety Bernard Pollard waving over the Redskins’ staff. The scene reminded me of the Joe Theismann hit back in 1985. Pollard waving over the Redskins looked just like when Lawrence Taylor called over the 85’ staff on that historic Monday night.
That game proved to be Joe Theismann’s final game of his career. One of the most gruesome moments in Redskins’ history was being relived at that moment and we didn’t even know the extent of the injury. Now the replays proved to show a nasty hit on Griffin, but nowhere near as ugly as Theismann’s hit. The way Griffin’s knee jerked back as his leg was hit was very scary, but if that hit was put on anyone else I don’t think we would have been as worried. But the fact is that it was ROBERT GRIFFIN III, our FUTURE. That’s what made us all so worried.
On the run, you have to admire the intent in Griffin running back into the field on a second-and-long attempt to get a first. He was just trying to get the team in position to continue the drive. I love that he did it, but I don’t ever want to see it again. He has got to take the yards he is getting and run the ball out of bounds. I heard a caller on the Lavar show yesterday talking about how he thinks that Griffin doesn’t know how to slide; I got to say I agree.
As Griffin walked off the field, our fears began to calm down. He was limping a little, but walked off on his own free will. At this point I am beyond relieved, but I was already saying that he better no come back in the game. We invested everything in this kid and the fact that it is a knee injury alone would not encourage my bet, but the fact that it is a knee injury on a Quarterback whose legs is such a threat and asset in his game? I would have had him sent to the locker room right away for x-rays and MRI’s. This is why I was so livid when he returned back into the game after one play.
The decision may have helped us win the game as Griffin came back in and went 2-4 for 37-yards, setting the team up in the red zone (before penalty), however the risk just didn’t cut it for me. Griffin started off looking good on his first completion and walking back up to the line, but after the second completion to Pierre Garcon in which Griffin showed off his strong arm, he turned on his left leg to avoid landing on his right and then hobbled up to the line. The rushed play ended up being a botched snap and thrown away for an intentional grounding call. This was the last play for Griffin as he dropped to the ground because of the pain he was enduring.
Enter: Captain Kirk Cousins.
In Kirk’s first play where he came in for one play and then came back off for Griffin to re-enter, Cousins threw a pass on third-and-6 that was incomplete. Fortunately there was a pass-interference call that continued the drive. In Cousins next outing is when he looked good. Starting on the 26-yard line, Cousins went 2-2, finding Garcon in the front corner of the end zone on a play that he extended with a slide step out of the pocket that was collapsing in front of him. Kirk’s outing was capped off with a quarterback draw to convert on a two-point conversion and take the game into overtime. The exceptional play calling throughout the game was highlight with this draw that no one seen coming, especially the Ravens.
Kirk didn’t have to do much in overtime as the special teams did the dirty work. After a opening series by the Ravens offense that led to a punt, rookie DB Richard Crawford returned the ball for 64-yards to the Baltimore-24. This put Kirk in the position to hand off the ball two times and leaving the football on the foot of Kai Forbath, who continued his perfect season with a 34-yard field goal to win the game.
With a win to celebrate a bittersweet game, the Redskins still had to wait for news on Griffin. The initial x-rays and MRI’s were performed right away and the good news was that there was no structural damage that would be seen. This was the biggest relief, however the team had to wait until Monday to due a full analysis and diagnose the injury. Technically Griffin wasn’t out of the woods yet.
Everyone waited until the 3pm press conference yesterday to hear the news from Mike Shanahan and the news turned out to be good. Griffin has been diagnosed with a level one Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) strain.
Shanahan has ruled Griffin as questionable, giving us no type of hint whether he will play Sunday against the Browns.
After doing some research on the actual injury and listening to these sports fans that are Doctors on these sports talk shows, the injury looks like it will be more pain than actual damage. I’ve read that the injury period should at least be three weeks long, which in NFL time where they have all these resources could be half that time or less. That being said, ideally Griffin will be ready for Sunday. Now that we can see that he should be ready, the question is SHOULD HE PLAY? If it was up to me, I would say no.
The team is in midst of a race for a playoff spot. Both the division and the wild cards are in reach and I think a lot of people can agree that the only reason we are contenders is because of Griffin. Griffin has led us to 7-6 so far and on a four-game winning streak. He brings us an advantage that no other quarterback can give us. So why wouldn’t I want to play him if he can go?
Griffin is in the rookie year of an expected decade that we are hoping from him. In just one year he has lifted the team back to relevance (refer to the previous post by guest writer Kevin Cash). We have invested so much into this kid; the idea that we should risk his career is ridiculous. I’m a gambling man. I will bet on card games, fantasy sports (I got kicked out of the playoffs this past week, thanks Ryan) and on sports, but this is something I would never risk. This is just like the Stephen Strasburg argument we had this past MLB season with the Nats. Granted that may have led to us losing in the NLDS, but because we made that decision we prevented Stras from any injuries this season.
We need to do the same with Griffin for THIS WEEK. I am not saying that we need to bench Griffin for the season, just saying we should risk him this week. Give him the extra week to recover. Get him closer to 100% with the last two games that are against the division instead of risking him in a game against an AFC opponent that can’t hurt us in terms of tiebreaker. It’s better to lose a game that would only hurt us in the overall record than losing him for two games that can affect us in every category. A lot of people wouldn’t agree with my ideology on the last three games because an overall loss can ruin the season right away, but ill take the loss over Griffin getting hurt and risking the season if not his career. It’s a knee people.
Kirk Cousins looked shaky in the game against Atlanta earlier in the year, but Sunday’s game has really shown me that he can handle this task. The team may sacrifice the mobility of the quarterback that helped our rank 1st rushing attack, but Alfred Morris is ranked 4th in rushing by himself. With the continued exceptional play calling like they have these past two weeks by Kyle and Mike, I think Kirk can run an effective offense against a Cleveland Browns’ team whose record doesn’t do them justice. The keys to this game are really going to be the front seven that need to stop Trent Richardson early. This may sound like a stretch, but we need to force Brandon Weeden to throw the ball against our 31st ranked pass defense. I think they will have a good day against Weeden.
In the broader picture, the Redskins are still in running for a playoff spot. Unfortunately the Giants and Seahawks blew out their opponents and the rest of the teams in the hunt won their games, so basically we are in the same place we were last week. The good thing is aside from the Seahawks and us, everyone in the picture has some tough match ups that could workout in our favor.
We continue to control our future, so the primary concern needs to be to continue doing that.