Point-Counterpoint: RG3 ready for Week 1?

Point-Counterpoint: RG3 ready for Week 1?
August 16, 2013, 12:15 pm
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How has RG3 adjusted to 11-on-11 drills?

Tandler - Tarik

RICHMOND—Robert Griffin III says that he will be ready for the Washington Redskins’ season opener against the Eagles. Mike Shanahan says that he agrees, but his optimism is tempered by the reality that there may be a setback or another issue.

What’s going to happen? Will “the plan” work and have Griffin back on the field exactly eight months after he had his right knee surgically reconstructed for the second time in three and a half years? Or is the timetable too ambitious for a player whose game relies so much on explosive moves? Redskins Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler debate the topic in this week’s edition of Point-Counterpoint.

Rich Tandler: Nothing in life is 100 percent certain but the chances of RG3 being behind center on Monday night when the Redskins take on the Eagles are very close to that. How do I know that? By using my eyes and looking at the calendar. I have not seen any issues with the knee in the approximately three dozen sessions of OTAs, minicamp, and training camp practices that I have been able to observe—not a limp, not a misstep, not a grimace of pain. And he has been pushing it pretty hard. But this should be expected. The rehab time for such an injury is seven to nine months. The Eagles game is eight months to the day after Griffin’s surgery.

Tarik El-Bashir:  I give it about a 60/40 chance of happening. I have a calendar, too. And if Griffin plays against the Eagles that would be eight months from surgery to starting a football game in the NFL. Adrian Peterson set the bar for returning from ACL surgery, and it took him 8 ½ months. So I’ve got to believe that a player coming back from a second ACL surgery on the same knee, plus an LCL and meniscus repair, could take at least as long. Look, I hope Griffin proves the skeptics like me wrong. I really do. But I’m not ready to buy in—at least not yet.

Tandler: With Peterson, the calendar just happened to fall that way. It’s all hypothetical, of course, but it’s entirely possible that Peterson could have played eight months after his injury but the Vikings didn’t have a real game scheduled. Also, it could be argued that Philip Rivers set the bar, not Peterson. Rivers tore his ACL in an AFC divisional playoff game on January 13, 2008. He had surgery to have the remnants of the ligament removed and the played in the AFC title game on January 20. He underwent surgery a few days after that. He played in a preseason game about six and a half months after that and started the Chargers’ season opener on Sept. 7, 231 days after playing in his last game. A total of 247 days will have passed between RG3’s last game and the 2013 season opener. Rivers and Griffin are different players with different styles of play and the ACL injury was Rivers’ first but this does show that an even shorter recovery is possible. 

El-Bashir: If Griffin is ready to start Week 1, then by all means start him. I’ve just never understood the rush. The ‘All in for Week 1’ campaign should have been, ‘All in for the next 10 years.’ Griffin has vowed to be ready. Shanahan says he’ll be ready, provided there’s no setback. Everyone now expects Griffin to be ready. Could that put undue pressure on the process? Could that pressure cloud the judgment of those making the decision? As I said before, I hope Griffin is under center against the Eagles. I just hope it’s because he’s 100-percent healthy, not because those involved feel they must meet a goal (that probably shouldn't have been publicized in the first place).