Eyes on Richmond: How healthy is RG3?
By Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler
Twenty questions No. 1—Will RG3 play 16 games?
The 2013 Redskins are loaded with storylines. Between now and the start of training camp, Insiders Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir will be examining the top 20 questions the Redskins face as they get ready for the season.
One big question has been answered. Robert Griffin III will not start training camp on the PUP list. He will be out there from start of training camp and will be eased in to a more rigorous practice schedule as the season approaches. But that’s all we know. It seems likely that he will start the season opener against the Eagles but there are some minefields to navigate before that happens. And if he does go Week 1, what about Week 4, Week 9, Week 13? Will his second knee reconstruction hold up during the rigors of a season that last 16 games (and, the Redskins and their fans hope, a few more after that)?
Rich Tandler: Having seen how good Griffin looked in May and June it’s hard to imagine him not being able to play in September. But there just isn’t any way of knowing what will happen. I may be instructive to go back to a year ago when it looked like starting right tackle Jammal Brown’s hip problems were behind him. But he suffered a setback on the eve of training camp and he wound up on the PUP list for the entire season. Of course that happening to RG3 would be the catastrophic, worst-case scenario for the Redskins. But barring a setback, the knee should hold up over 16 games. He would not have been cleared if Dr. James Andrews didn’t believe that to be the case. A healthy right knee, of course, does not keep him from getting injured elsewhere on his body so he could miss time just like any other NFL quarterback could. As noted, you never know what will happen. To answer the question, I think he will play 16 but if he doesn’t it won’t be because of his knee.
Tarik El-Bashir: Personally, I’m less concerned about the quality of repair – it was, after all, done by the foremost sports surgeon on the planet – and more worried about the real issue here: Will RG3 do more to ensure his long term health? Yeah, yeah, I know. RG3’s injuries did not occur on zone-read play calls. I get that. But he still needs to do a better job of sidestepping avoidable hits and throwing the ball out of bounds. The concussion? Totally avoidable. The Haloti Ngata hit? Get down sooner. The Seattle debacle? Know the difference between hurt and injured and take a seat on the bench. Griffin has said over and again this offseason that he now understands the responsibility he bears to his family, his fans, his teammates. We’ll find out Week 1 if the second-year signal caller has indeed learned his lesson from a rookie season filled with hard knocks.