It wasn’t part of a grand, burgundy-and-gold cosmic plan back in the fall of 2009 when Robert Griffin III tore his right anterior cruciate ligament, but the surgeon who did the repair work just happens to be a former Washington Redskins player.
Mark Adickes, a guard for the Redskins in the early ’90s, is an orthopedic surgeon in Houston and Baylor alum who was a natural choice when Griffin hurt his knee (video of rehab and injury is here). He had suffered what Adickes called a “typical” ACL tear and “unfazed by the injury” but not by the lengthy rehab. “He never doubted he would recover fully and achieve his goal to play in the NFL,” Adickes said in an email. “His work ethic is ridiculous. All efforts post-operatively were spent trying to slow him down.”
The Baylor and jock-to-doc connections were important. “Having a Baylor guy take care of you, staying in the family, was good,” Griffin told Baylor’s alumni magazine. “He's had a bunch of knee surgeries, too, so he knows the feeling. To have someone like that to connect with is a good thing.”
Griffin played in 2010 and 2011, won the Heisman (thanking, among others, his doctors in his acceptance speech) and ran a stellar 40 at the NFL scouting combine in February. No one, but no one, is saying his value was in any way diminished by the injury.
“I would much rather draft a player who has proven he can overcome adversity and return successfully from injury/surgery,” Adickes said. “Very few pro athletes have an injury-free career. With RGIII there should be no doubt he is a tough guy and if at some point during his career an injury does occur you can be confident he will have little difficulty returning to form.”
Speaking as a former pro football player, Adickes likes Griffin — a lot — and says he’s “the NFL’s version of Michael Jordan.”
Griffin’s visit with Jon Gruden comes up tonight (9 p.m. EDT) on ESPN; you can judge for yourself if Adickes is right.
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