RG3: "I think I did put myself at more risk"
Robert Griffin III was obviously hampered by an injured knee for about the last three quarters of the Redskins’ 24-14 loss to the Seahawks. Questions as to whether or not he should stay in the game were being asked in the press box, on TV, by fans on Twitter and, apparently, by Coach Mike Shanahan on the sideline.
But Griffin was determined to stay in the game.
Asked after the game how he would have reacted if Shanahan had taken him out of the game, Griffin answered defiantly.
“I probably would have been right back out there on the field,” he said. “You respect authority and I respect coach Shanahan but at the same time you have to step up and be a man sometimes and there was no way I was coming out of that game.”
Shanahan said that he struggled with the decision to keep his Pro Bowl quarterback in throughout the game. “It’s a very tough decision,” he said. You have to go with your gut and I did.”
He admitted that he is open to second-guessing on the decision to stick with Griffin. “In the second half, should you have done it [taken Griffin out] earlier?” he said. “I think you always do that, especially after you don’t win.”
Griffin originally suffered a strained lateral collateral ligament in his right knee four weeks ago when he was brought down after scrambling late in a game against the Ravens. He went out for one play, returned, but only lasted a few plays before Kirk Cousins came in to finish the game. Cousins started the following week against the Browns but Griffin started the last two games of the season, both wins that got the Redskins the NFC East title and a spot in today’s playoff game.
He did look limited in those last two games but he didn’t appear to have a setback at any point. That changed on a first and goal play from the four. Griffin scrambled to his right and then tried to throw back to Pierre Garçon in the end zone. The pass fell incomplete and Griffin went to the ground. He got up and limped back to the huddle.
“[I tried] to throw back to Pierre,” said Griffin. “My knee kind of buckled on me and it scared me a little bit, so I went to the sideline and got a tape job done on the knee. I was fine after that until the end of the game.”
The numbers might indicate that Griffin was not quite “fine”. He did stay in the game after the first injury and completed a touchdown drive that made the score 14-0 with two and a half minutes left in the first quarter. At that point, Griffin was six for nine passing for 68 yards and two touchdowns with a passer rating of 128.7. And the Redskins had that 14-0 lead.
The rest of the way, however, he completed four of 10 passes for 16 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. That adds up to a passer rating of 8.3. The Redskins did not cross their own 41-yard line and they did not score.
Still, Griffin insisted that the issue did not affect his play. “I don’t feel like being out there hurt the team in any way,” he said. “The knee did not affect me trying to throw.”
Shanahan was asked it he could see that Griffin wasn’t playing like himself. “That’s exactly right,” he said. “I think everybody could see after our first quarter that he wasn’t exactly the same, but I have a lot of players that aren’t exactly the same.”
When Griffin injured his knee last month, he said afterward that he was pretty sure that he had no injured his ACL, a self-diagnosis that turned out to be right. He wasn’t so sure this time.
“Honestly, it’s up in the air for me right now,” he said. I know coming off the field I thought it was just the same thing [LCL injury]. But right now, we’ll see what it is.”
There will be an MRI done on the knee to determine the extent of the injury either late Sunday night or on Monday.