Shanahan: RG3 has 'mild' strain to LCL

Shanahan: RG3 has 'mild' strain to LCL
December 10, 2012, 2:45 pm
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Update on RG3's injury from head coach Mike Shanahan

Robert Griffin III has suffered a sprain of the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) in his right knee, Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said Monday afternoon. 

Shanahan described the severity of the injury as a Grade 1 sprain, the mildest variety. There are no injuries to any of the other ligaments, Shanahan said, but there is some mild swelling in the joint.

“We’ll evaluate it day-by-day and see how it is on Wednesday,” Shanahan said, referring to the start of the NFL practice week. “But talking to him today, he felt pretty good.”

He added: “You’re hopeful with rehab that it gets better very quickly, but we don’t know for sure. We have to go day-by-day.”

Shanahan said it’s too early to say whether the star rookie will be able to play Sunday in Cleveland. 

“He’s definitely not ruled out for the Cleveland game,” Shanahan said.

Griffin suffered a torn ACL in 2009 while playing at Baylor. That repair was not compromised it has been determined after an examination by noted physician Dr. James Andrews.  

“That looks great,” Shanahan said. “No problem there.”

The LCL extends from the outside of the lower thighbone to top of the fibula. It keeps the outer portion of the joint stable.

Griffin was injured in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 31-28 victory over the Ravens when his knee bent awkwardly – the joint appeared to hyperextend – as he hit hard in the open field by Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.

An MRI taken after the game was “clear,” according to a team official. 

“You don’t know until you have the MRI,” Shanahan said Monday. “When I looked at it on film, I thought it would be worse than it was.”

Griffin was injured while scrambling. But Shanahan reiterated that he had no problem with his star player trying to make a play.

“To me, you’ve got the final drive of the fourth quarter and he’s trying to make a play,” Shanahan said. “What Robert was trying to do was score a touchdown, which is what competitors would do. It was like a playoff game to us because we knew we had to win. Robert would do anything to get that first down. In normal circumstances, he probably would have slid or took off to the outside. Most quarterbacks, at least quarterbacks we would want, would put themselves in that situation.”

If Griffin is unable to suit up against the Browns, rookie backup Kirk Cousins will get his first career start. Shanahan also did not rule out dressing Griffin, Cousins and third-string Rex Grossman. 

“Kirk can do a lot,” Shanahan said. “He’s prepared himself for each game. In any scenario, I would have complete confidence that he would go in and perform the way that he did.”

Griffin did not speak to reporters on Monday.