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Anatomy of the RGIII knee injury rumors

(Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

The folks directly involved in the situation are staying pretty tight-lipped about the extent of RGIII’s knee injury. Mike Shanahan didn’t offer any insight during his press conference at Redskins Park yesterday, only to say that the MRI showed injury and that Griffin would be visiting with Dr. James Andrews today for further examination.

“They want to take another look and have a physical exam with him, to make sure they’re not looking at old injuries,” Shanahan said.

Take that for what it’s worth, which isn’t much.

The lack of information publicly released by the team, combined with the demand for answers, caused people to speculate. And you know what happens when we speculate? Fred Smoot starts hearing voices.

Smoot was on with Holden and Danny on 106.7 The Fan yesterday afternoon, and mentioned that he had heard something about Griffin’s injury.

“Right now, I’m hearing whispers out of the headquarters that it might be a torn ACL and torn PCL,” he told the radio duo. “If it’s taken that far, there’s no question he should not have been playing at that time in the game.”

After being pressed for confirmation on the rumor, Smoot backtracked.

“I’ve heard it from nobody in the building,” he explained. “I’m hearing whispers. I’ve heard from no one in the building. This is just what I’m hearing. Nobody’s told me anything. I’m hearing that it could be very severe right now, and if it is, why? Why was this guy in the game?”

WRIC in Richmond tweeted a link to an AP story on Griffin’s injury (screencap via @mcbc here), with this note added by the station at the top of the story:

“BREAKING: Sources close to the Redskins camp say Robert Griffin III has torn his ACL and PCL, and will not be able to play for a minimum of 14-18 months. Stay with 8News for updates.”

When questioned by a number of people on Twitter, the ABC affiliate also backtracked, removing the note and simply leaving the AP story with no further explanation.

ESPN 980, which had retweeted the the WRIC original story, as well as the retraction, also had some fun with speculation.

They didn’t specify which photos they had the good doctor look at, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t this photo, because the opinion wasn’t “spontaneous disappearance of all knee ligaments.”

The Post’s Mike Jones and Mark Maske, both of whom I trust implicitly for all the best knee injury information, are reporting that RGII has “possible partial tears of his anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments,” or ACL and LCL, if you’re keeping track at home. This comes via sources who have direct knowledge of Sunday night’s test results.

So pick your favorite source and stay tuned to see who was right. My money is on the voices who whisper to Fred Smoot.