“There’s never a doubt as a player. You always feel like you’re ready to go,” Griffin said. “But [trainer] Larry [Hess] and the guys are doing their job. They’re taking the proper precautions to make sure I’m ready to go, that I don’t have any symptoms and I keep getting evaluated every day.”
Griffin said he has learned from the experience. During Wednesday’s practice he ran out of bounds once and slid at the end of another run, drawing a loud cheer from his teammates.
“There are times to break the pocket and make plays,” he said. “And then there’s times to just take the checkdown, take what they’re giving you and just know that the guy you’re throwing to is going to try as hard as he can to get the first [down].”
But he doesn’t expect the injury to make him tentative on the field.
“It doesn’t make you less aggressive, but it’s a learning lesson,” he said. “The one thing I learned is I can’t do that to my team, to the fans or my family. Because a life is more important than the game of football. These things that happen to us, getting hurt, getting hit in the head, affects us down the road, and I’ve got to limit that. . . . I’ve got to make sure I keep myself safe while still being the same player that I am, but keep myself safe so my family and my fans and my teammates aren’t let down.”
Coach Mike Shanahan said Griffin will continue to run the ball when the defense dictates that he take off, and agreed with the quarterback’s overall assessment.
“He had a good practice today,” Shanahan said at his daily briefing. “He was limited in practice, but I thought he performed well. He had no symptoms, at least that’s what he shared with me. . . . So far, so good,” the coach said.
Griffin took the blow to the head during a third-and-goal play midway through the third quarter of Sunday’s 24-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
Taking a snap and rolling to his right, Griffin tried in vain to find an open receiver in the end zone. The quarterback eventually tucked the ball and tried to cut toward the end zone. But before he could get there, Weatherspoon tackled Griffin hard, delivering a blow to the left side of Griffin’s head.
“I was running, made the one guy miss, then saw [Weatherspoon] there at the end,” Griffin recalled. “I tried to get down, but there was no way I could get out of bounds at that point. In the future — you know hindsight’s 20-20 — I would’ve thrown it away or gotten out of bounds.”