It was difficult to distinguish between old and new injuries on the MRI taken here, it seems. Maybe Andrews left his good eyeglasses back in the office. Although hundreds of thousands of medical degrees have been issued in Washington since Sunday night’s game ended, Andrews has had his longer, so fine, let him take a good, close look. Even when we finally learn the answer to the big question — how bad is it? — a million little ones will remain, leaving Washington Redskins fans right back where they’ve been so many Januarys before: second-guessing, what-if-ing and finger pointing. If you thought this offseason would be different, think again.
Speaking of thinking again, it’s easy to propose that Shanahan should have removed Griffin after the first time he went down hard, stayed down, and pulled off his helmet — his version of a distress signal. It’s easy to say Griffin should not have been playing. And it’s way too easy to make the Mike Comparison (Rizzo vs. Shanahan) and the Superstar Comparison (Stephen Strasburg vs. Griffin) and declare the Nats the winner.
What we know is that Strasburg will be rested and ready when he reports to Viera next month. What we don’t know is when Griffin will be rested and ready again. What we know about Griffin is that he is a fitness freak, a workout warrior, and no matter the injury, my money’s on him to recover from it. A knee injury, no matter the severity, isn’t the guaranteed career-ender it was not so long ago.
What the Redskins hopefully have learned is that Griffin, while both savvy and smart, is not a doctor. He doesn’t play one on TV, but apparently he plays one on the sideline and at Redskins Park. The coaching staff listened to his self-diagnosis, and because they desperately wanted to believe it, he was allowed to play, and keep playing. It must be hard to say no to Griffin, but someone has to be the grown-up. The Redskins have an entire coaching staff of grown-ups, including the grownup-est of all, Mike Shanahan. He would have been booed to Kingdom Come if he had sat RGIII after that first hit. So what? His job isn’t in jeopardy; the Redskins are considering extending his contract.
Don’t get me wrong: I think letting Griffin start Sunday was the right call. Letting Griffin continue to play after he went down the first time was not. It was clear he could run, sort of, but he couldn’t cut and he had no burst. That’s one of his weapons gone — and incidentally, without the notion that Griffin could break loose at any time, Alfred Morris’s threat level is lowered considerably. It was also clear Griffin couldn’t throw with his normal accuracy because he couldn’t plant his injured leg. A quarterback who can’t run and can’t throw is . . . you or me. With Korey Lichtensteiger on the sideline, further depleting a banged-up offensive line, the Redskins needed to find a quarterback who could run and throw. If only they were allowed to have two on the active roster . . . oh wait!