“It’s not a tough choice,” Alexander said. “He makes that decision. If he feels that he can go and play through that pain, you let him do that. I mean, he’s your franchise guy. Guys earn the right to do that. I think he’s done that throughout this year.”
Griffin led the Redskins to touchdowns on their first two possessions.
But on a first-and-goal play on the second touchdown drive, Griffin ran to his right and tried to plant on his right knee and twist his body to make a throw to his left. Griffin wasn’t hit on the play but he was limping afterward.
His pass to wide receiver Pierre Garcon on that first-down play fell incomplete, and Griffin handed off to tailback Alfred Morris for no gain on second down. Griffin threw a four-yard touchdown pass to tight end Logan Paulsen on third down. But he absorbed a late hit by Seattle rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin on the touchdown, resulting in a penalty, and Griffin emerged limping heavily.
He was taken to the medical examination room behind the Redskins’ bench, then returned to the sideline and took some warmup throws. Cousins did not take any warmup throws at that point, and Griffin remained in the game without missing a play.
Griffin was playing in his third game since missing one game due to his sprained LCL. This latest drama about Griffin’s knee came after James Andrews, the well-known orthopedist who is on the Redskins’ sideline for games, told USA Today that he continued to have trepidations about the soundness of Griffin’s knee.
“I’ve been a nervous wreck letting him come back as quick as he has,” Andrews told the newspaper. “He’s doing a lot better this week, but he’s still recovering and I’m holding my breath because of it.
“He passed all the tests and all the functional things we do, but it’s been a trying moment for me, to be honest with you.”
Andrews also told the paper that he did not clear Griffin to re-enter the game against the Baltimore Ravens one play after Griffin originally suffered the injury, as Shanahan portrayed at the time. Andrews was on the Redskins’ sideline Sunday and was among those who came on the field to examine Griffin when he was hurt in the fourth quarter. Shanahan said again Sunday that he had a brief conversation with Andrews before sending Griffin back into the Baltimore game.
“I think doctors always worry any time somebody has an injury, rightfully so,” Shanahan said. “But they clear a player if they think he’s able to play.”