Griffin, this individual said, “clearly wanted to get back on the field.”
‘You’re all right, bro?’
Shanahan, reached by telephone Thursday, declined to discuss the details of the Seattle game or the conversations that took place on the sidelines and behind the scenes. But in his first public comments since Griffin’s surgery, he said: “I had Robert’s best interests at heart. I wish he hadn’t gotten hurt. We’re going to do everything we can to help him and support him as our quarterback. I know he’s going to make a speedy, full and fast recovery.”
According to players and others in the Redskins organization, Shanahan felt Griffin had earned the right to remain in the game unless the medical staff determined he shouldn't play, and feared that pulling him without being ordered by doctors to do so would permanently cost him the trust of Griffin and, by extension, the entire locker room.
“He has to listen to the player in this situation,” veteran linebacker London Fletcher said. “You’re talking about the franchise quarterback, a guy who has made so many plays to even get you to this point. If he tells you that he can go, you have to . . . let him go. This is the playoffs, this is a do-or-die situation.”
Andrews, who is based in Birmingham, Ala., and Gulf Breeze, Fla., has declined interview requests through his publicist. However, according to two people with knowledge of the day’s events, he and the other members of the team’s medical staff never told Shanahan at any point during the game that Griffin’s knee was injured too badly for him to continue playing.
In fact, according to one of those people, the medical staff informed Shanahan they believed Griffin’s knee was intact structurally, that its condition was no different than it had been in recent weeks, and that the chances of Griffin suffering a more severe injury had not increased due to the first-quarter episode.
When the NFL Players Association reviewed Griffin’s case in the days after the game and decided the following Friday not to demand a formal investigation by independent doctors — as it has the right to do under the sport’s collective bargaining agreement — it concluded that Griffin never continued playing after doctors diagnosed an injury too severe for him to do so.
Shortly after leaving the observation room, Griffin was approached on the sideline by left tackle Trent Williams — like Griffin an offensive captain — who inquired about the quarterback’s condition.