If the NFLPA initiates a formal inquiry, two or more independent physicians would be chosen to conduct an investigation and issue a report. The CBA says that “their recommendations as to what steps shall be taken to address and correct any issues shall be acted upon by the Joint Committee.”
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the union’s focus is whether the Redskins followed the recommendations of their medical staff about when to play Griffin. The union’s probe does not focus on coaching decisions made by Coach Mike Shanahan, other than the issue of whether he followed the recommendations of doctors, the person said.
According to that person, the union has sought information going back to the Dec. 9 game against the Baltimore Ravens, when Griffin originally suffered his LCL sprain on a hit by Haloti Ngata.
Shanahan has said he followed the recommendations of doctors.
Andrews, who is on the sideline for Redskins games, told USA Today last weekend that he did not clear Griffin to return temporarily to the Ravens game, in contrast to Shanahan’s version of events. But Andrews later told The Washington Post that there was “a communication problem” between him and Shanahan.
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. Griffin, after missing one play, returned to that game for four plays before leaving for good.
Griffin remained in Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks after appearing to re-injure his knee on a first-quarter play. Griffin and Shanahan said later that the quarterback urged Shanahan to leave him in the game, and Shanahan agreed.
DeMaurice Smith, the union’s executive director, told ESPN earlier this week that the union had initiated formal investigations of teams’ handling of injuries on “at least three occasions” under the CBA, which was completed in 2011. Smith said in that televised interview that the union was looking into Griffin’s injury because “there was enough of an inconsistency or a question about whether the process of evaluating the player occurred, whether he was cleared to play, not cleared to play.”
Of the condition of the field, Atallah said Thursday: “The coaching staff and players for both teams have spoken out against the quality of the field during Sunday’s game. We would hope that significant improvements would be made.”
Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll was highly critical Monday of the condition of the field during Sunday’s game. It is unclear if the condition of the field contributed to Griffin’s injury. Shanahan said Monday he might be receptive to the possibility of a switch to an artificial playing surface at FedEx Field.