The triumvirate once again requests patience.
Coach Mike Shanahan says it’s Dr. James Andrews’ call to declare whether Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is ready to play in the Sept. 9 opener against Philadelphia. But it’s Shanahan who really has the final say. At least this time it’s not Griffin’s call.
Owner Dan Snyder met with Andrews and Shanahan on Monday to discuss Griffin’s readiness. The quarterback’s rehab following offseason knee surgery has moved quickly but has gone perfectly. Barring a setback, Griffin will start against the Eagles.
Nobody’s rushing Griffin except the passer himself. That is, until Plan B took a big hit when backup Kirk Cousins sprained his foot against Pittsburgh on Monday, and third-stringer Rex Grossman followed a sharp scoring drive with an ugly interception.
Washington needs Griffin to defend its NFC East crown. Cousins was a viable short-term option who’s now dinged up. It’s a minor sprain, but Cousins may still need a little time to recover.
Grossman’s turnovers make him unpredictable, and there’s still a chance he ends up the opening-day starter.
With less than three weeks remaining, the Redskins really don’t know if Griffin will be ready. They’re holding firm at maybe, and if Andrews is going to fully clear Griffin, it won’t happen until days before the opener.
The Andrews-Shanahan-Griffin triangle has been ongoing since the Seattle playoff loss seven months ago. Nobody wanted to accept blame for Griffin remaining on the field injured, but it was collectively their fault.
Now Shanahan is smartly waiving the choice to Andrews, who’s known as the nation’s best knee surgeon. But what if Andrews and Shanahan don’t agree? Would the coach override the doctor?
Griffin should be the last one to decide, even though it is his own body.
It’s a scary time for the Redskins. The team looks mortal with nose tackle Barry Cofield now forced to play injured, and rookie safety Bacarri Rambo and right tackle Tyler Polumbus taking more whiffs Monday night than a perfume-maker.
Stress levels will only rise over the next two weeks. All eyes are on Griffin, but nothing will be decided until days before the Redskins play the Eagles in the opener. Griffin will become increasingly frustrated over not playing, Shanahan will get tired of being second-guessed and Andrews won’t offer an opinion until he’s forced to, which is normal for most doctors.
Cousins may be ready for Philadelphia. So might Griffin. And Grossman is still there if the Redskins need him.
The triumvirate’s decision won’t come quickly enough.