RG3: "I'll be playing next week"
Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III will have an MRI on his right knee to determine the extent of an injury he suffered late in the fourth quarter of Washington’s 31-28 overtime win over the Ravens.
Griffin said after the game that he didn’t think the injury was serious. “I’m not a doctor but I know what an ACL [tear] feels like,” he said. “It doesn’t feel like an ACL. Hopefully we can have some positive things that come out of the MRI.”
He did say that an X-ray was negative but that procedure can’t always detect issues with soft tissues.
The rookie does know what a torn ACL feels like; he suffered one during his sophomore season at Baylor.
He injured the knee while scrambling on a second and 19 play on the first play after the two-minute warning. The Redskins were trailing 28-20 at the time and needed to score. Griffin picked up 13 yards but while going down he was hit by Baltimore nose tackle Haloti Ngata.
Griffin was able to maintain his sense of humor as he described the moment of the injury. “I knew soon as I got hit, as I screamed—like a man, of course,” he said to laughter. “I knew it hurt, really bad.”
“Trying to make a play,” Griffin said. “I got outside, turned inside and as soon as I turned it inside I thought ‘Oh, Lord, here we go’ and got down.”
“So I protected myself from that regard. It was just a freak play. My leg got hit while I was going down or after I was already down.”
Timeout was called and the training staff came onto the field. Griffin went to the sideline with partial assistance. Backup Kirk Cousins went into the game.
“When I came out after that play and I told [head athletic trainer] Larry [Hess] that I was going back in. They looked at me for a second,” said Griffin. “I just wanted to let them know I wanted to go back in and I did for a few plays.”
But after he completed a pass to Pierre Garçon for 22 yards to the Baltimore 16, Griffin threw a pass away, drawing an intentional grounding flag. The trainers came and got him again, this time for the rest of the game.
“I knew I needed to get out at that point,” he said. “At some point you have to do what’s right for the team. If I would have played the rest of that game I probably would have hurt myself even more.”
“You’ve just got to trust those guys and trust yourself when you know enough is enough.”
Mike Shanahan knew that his quarterback was done. “I could see he was hurting the second time he came out. I could see his face,” he said.
Griffin wanted to give it another shot but they wouldn’t let him. “We had to keep him from going back in,” said Shanahan. “He was fighting to get out there so that was a good sign.”
Meanwhile, Griffin’s backup was doing just fine. Cousins threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garçon with 36 seconds left to pull the Redskins to within two. Needing a two-point conversion to tie, Cousins got it on a quarterback draw, a play that is one of Griffin’s specialties.
Cousins didn’t have to do much to win it in overtime. Rookie Richard Crawford did most of the work, returning a punt 64 yards to the Ravens 24. Three plays later Kai Forbath kicked a 24-yard field goal to win it.
We should find out about Griffin’s status in the next 24 hours or so.
Griffin was upbeat. “I feel pretty good right now about the whole situation,” he said. I’m not too nervous but I’ll definitely be praying during the MRI.”
As will his coaches, teammates, and millions of Redskins fans.