James Andrews, the orthopedist who stood on the sidelines of the Seattle playoff game, has washed his hands of any faulty decision-making that led to the reconstruction of Griffin’s right knee. He merely cleared Griffin to play a week before training camp and hasn’t been heard from since.
The last holdout is a hypercompetitive 23-year-old who is inexplicably lobbying his coach to play in a meaningless exhibition game. Other than ego, pride and foolishness, what gives?
“You know me too well,” Griffin said Monday when asked whether he would try to convince Shanahan to play in the preseason. He added: “I’m going to, definitely. I want to play, let’s get that straight. I want to play in the preseason. . . . I’m definitely going to push for it. I feel ready to go. I’ll definitely push for that third game, but we’ll see what happens.”
How about nothing? How about rest up for Sept. 9 against the Eagles when it matters? How about shelving the whole mentality of a special teamer who needs to crack the wedge in order to make the team and start taking on the mind-set of: I’m the one guy on the roster who absolutely cannot get hurt or it’s over.
His season. His team’s. And probably Shanahan’s career in Washington because most people would blame Shanahan for listening to the pleading of the kid again and, ultimately, for any injury not suffered during the regular season.
Shanahan faced the media about 5:30 p.m. and literally smiled a wooden smile for 20 minutes. He said while he loves Griffin’s competitiveness, there’s no chance he will take a preseason snap, in accordance to Andrews’s orders. This is where I have Shanahan’s back: He already trusted the kid too much once.
This is the part I get: Every special athlete has a combination of insecurity and arrogance that helps make him or her great. Those character traits often emerge when their supremacy is threatened.
Here’s what I don’t get: No one is taking Griffin’s job. God bless Jason Reid, but Kirk Cousins is not Steve Young. There is no more breathtaking player in the NFL than Griffin.
Still, you get this defiant soul who either wants to be the fastest person in history to recover from ACL reconstructive surgery or who has yet to realize his immeasurable value to the team.
“I can’t B.S. that answer,” Griffin said when asked whether he liked or understood his current recovery plan. “No, I don’t like it, but there is some part of it I do understand. I don’t understand all of it. I can’t lie about that, but when you give your word to somebody, that’s all you have, so I’m just banking on that they will stay true to their word and I’m staying true to mine.