DeMaurice Smith, the union’s executive director, said in a written statement on the same Web site that “playing through pain is a harsh reality of our business and our union will always hold the League and the clubs accountable to the best medical care. Our thoughts are with Robert as he recovers from his surgery and we hope he returns to full strength.”
The person familiar with the union’s findings said that James Andrews, the orthopedic surgeon who is on the Redskins’ sideline for games and performed Griffin’s surgery Wednesday at his medical facility near Pensacola, Fla., was cooperative with the NFLPA inquiry.
The Post’s LaVar Arrington wonders if Robert Griffin III will ever be the same quarterback after suffering another knee injury in the Redskins’ loss to the Seahawks and offers his injured pinky as a small example of this type of damage that a body can absorb during a career in football.
“Dr. Andrews was very transparent,” the person said. “He was very responsive.”
The interactions between Andrews and Shanahan about Griffin’s injury have been closely scrutinized lately. Andrews told USA Today last weekend that he did not clear Griffin to return temporarily to the Ravens game, as Shanahan said at the time. Griffin was hurt during that game on a hit by the Ravens’ Haloti Ngata. Griffin left the game for one play, then returned for four plays before exiting for good.
But Andrews later seemed to revise that comment, telling The Washington Post that neither he nor Shanahan lied but there was “a communication problem.” Andrews said he didn’t get a chance to examine Griffin but gave Shanahan a hand signal to indicate that “I guess he’s okay” to play.
The union concluded that it was “comfortable with” what happened during the Baltimore game, the person with knowledge of the findings said.
“There was a misunderstanding” initially, the person said. “Once he was examined, it was determined he had an injury where he couldn’t continue.”
Shanahan has said he followed the recommendations of Andrews and other members of the team’s medical staff consistently about when to allow Griffin to play and when to keep him sidelined. Griffin missed one game after his initial LCL injury, then returned to the lineup.
He limped throughout Sunday’s game after a first-quarter play on which he planted on his right leg and twisted his body to throw back toward his left. Shanahan and Griffin said after the game that Griffin had talked his way into remaining in the game.
Griffin left for good when his knee bent awkwardly and he crumpled to the turf after failing to reach a low snap in the fourth quarter. Shanahan said after the game that he probably would second-guess his decision to allow Griffin to keep playing, but then said Monday he thought the right decision had been made.
The union concluded that Griffin was made aware of the risks that he faced by continuing to play after his initial LCL injury, the person with knowledge of the NFLPA findings said.