Seahawks vs. Redskins: “We’ll be ready to get dessert next year.”

It’s one thing to lose to the Seattle Seahawks in the playoffs, but this loss stings with Robert Griffin III going into the offseason awaiting news of just how badly he had re-injured his right knee. The good news is that he was walking without a limp and easily climbed steps to the podium in the media room. The better news? The 2013 season can’t come quickly enough.

RGIII put it perfectly:

“I just wanted to say to the fans … in D.C. and across the nation, they’ve been great for us, cheering us on. At away games they show up in the masses and at home they really made it feel like a home-field advantage. We said this when I was in college, ‘We got a chance to sit at the dinner table and experience success and it was a good meal. But now we want to go back to get dessert.’ We’ll be ready to get dessert next year.”

With that, he exited the stage and so does the Live Blog. We’ll be on the Insider starting tomorrow and on The Early Lead and we’ll looking forward to talking to you there. The NFL draft is just around the corner.

RGIII: “I’m the best option for this team”

Robert Griffin III says he doesn’t know how badly hurt his knee is, but he walked without a limp and climbed the steps to the podium to address reporters with no problem.

“It’s a simple process. Mike asked me if I was okay and I said yes. I’m the quarterback of this team. My job is to be out there if I can play. The only time I couldn’t play is when I went down and I took myself out of the game. That’s just the way you have to play it. I don’t feel like me being out there — just to tackle the next question — I don’t feel like me being out there hurt the team in any way. I’m the best option for this team and that’s why I’m the starter.”

The question, from all NFL fans, was whether RGIII was endangering his career by continuing to play. His answer was sobering.

“I think I did put myself at more risk by being out there. But every time you step on the football field, between those lines, you’re putting your life, your career, every single ligament in your body in jeopardy. That’s just the approach I had to take towards it. My teammates needed me out there, so I was out there for them. When it comes to the impact of the injury, I’m not sure what it is. We’ll figure that out here in the next few days. Whatever it is, I’ll make sure I come back healthy from it.”

Trent Williams apologizes for pushing Richard Sherman

Trent Williams apologized for getting into a little dustup with Richard Sherman after the game.

Sherman had coupled an exaggerated little wave with some smack talk and Williams responded by smushing his face. Williams said he needs to learn to control his emotions better, but Sherman has a way of pushing buttons. After the Seahawks beat the Patriots in the regular season, Sherman tweeted a photo of him getting in Tom Brady’s face with a with a “U MAD BRO?” Photoshopped on.

CBS Sports has gifs of Williams and Sherman here.

Mike Shanahan: Why RGIII stayed in

Mike Shanahan began his press conference talking about what a “fun run” this was and how excited he is about the team and “the direction it’s headed” in, but, really, only one thing matters: Robert Griffin III and his right knee.

Griffin, Shanahan said, will have an MRI to see whether there is damage beyond the lateral  collateral ligament sprain he suffered Dec. 9. And Shanahan said he considered taking Griffin, whose effectiveness decreased after the first quarter, out with a healthy Kirk Cousins as an option.

“I did, I did [consider it],” Shanhan said. “I talked to Robert and Robert said to me, ‘Coach, there’s a difference between injured and being hurt. I guarantee you I’m hurting right now. Give me a chance to win this football game because I guarantee you I’m not injured.’

“That was enough for me. I thought he did enough for us this year to have that opportunity to stay in the football game. It’s always a tough decision when to pull a guy and when not to. I talked to him at halftime and had to feel good about him to go back in.”

Shanahan admitted that it’s difficult to know when to take a player out and said that it was clear RGIII wasn’t the same player. Shanahan thought he could still throw, but not not run as effectively.

“He’s a competitor and I’ll probably second-guess myself when you take a look at … the second half [and wonder] should you have done it earlier. I think you always do that especially after you don’t win.”

Dr. James Andrews, the noted orthopedic surgeon who is a Redskins consultant, told USA Today yesterday that he was “nervous” about Griffin’s long-term health if he continued to play through the LCL injury.

“I think doctors always worry any time somebody has an injury and rightfully so, but they clear a player if they think he’s able to play and we obviously take their recommendation very seriously. We would not play Robert if we thought there was a risk of him further injuring that LCL.”

Finally, Shanahan’s hand was forced and he had to take RGIII out. “If you didn’t pull him then,” Shanahan said, “you should be fired.”

Will Shanahan’s reputation take a hit?

In spite of having a capable backup quarterback, Mike Shanahan left Robert Griffin III in the game until he absolutely could go no longer. We don’t know yet whether or how much more damage Griffin did to his knee, but it’s fair to ask whether leaving RGIII in for so long, on such a wretchedly bad field, will damage Shanahan’s reputation. Will it?

Gio Gonzalez on RGIII

With 4:16 left, fans file out

Kirk Cousins just threw a fluttering, incomplete pass on fourth and 14, and with that, the crowd at FedEx Field began to file out. So many empty seats in both the upper and lower bowls.

This is a very quiet place right now. Some diehards trying to keep the faith as Seattle has the ball and a 10-point lead.

And this should be a whale of a postgame session with Mike Shanahan.

It’s up to Kirk Cousins — down 10

With Robert Griffin III finally — and gruesomely — succumbing to his right knee injury, Kirk Cousins now takes over for the Redskins, who trail 24-14 following Steven Hauschka’s field goal with 5:32 remaining.

Cousins, a fourth-round pick from Michigan State, has appeared in three games for Washington, including one start. He is completing 68.6 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and three interceptions.

And if Cousins leads them on a scoring drive here, how many people will say to Mike Shanahan, “You should have done this earlier?”

Griffin’s knee buckles — badly

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, hobbling almost all afternoon on his ailing right knee, went down in a heap after failing to gain control of an errant snap — perhaps the last snap of his season.

UPDATE: The Redskins have announced Griffin is out for the remainder of the game.

Griffin’s knee appeared to buckle on the play, and the question lots of Washingtonians might be asking tonight, tomorrow and into the offseason is: Why did Coach Mike Shanahan stick with him so long?

Griffin was unable to make a move to the ball, which was recovered at the Washington 5 yard line by Seattle’s Clinton McDonald. The Redskins already trail 21-14, Seattle is in scoring position — and there’s no telling about the condition of their quarterback.

Griffin did, somehow, walk off on his own power. Backup Kirk Cousins is now warming up.

Lynch’s jaunt gives Seattle the lead

Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch made a key third-down conversion — and more — scoring on a 27-yard run that put the Seahawks up for the first time, 21-14, with 7:08 remaining in regulation.

The play came on third and 5 — and, given the iffy condition of Seattle kicker Steven Hauschka — might have been the only way the Seahawks could have taken the lead.

Lynch’s run was notable for one other reason: Quarterback Russell Wilson served as a lead blocker inside the 5 yard line — something Robert Griffin III isn’t exactly in position to do right now.

The Seahawks went for the two-point conversion and converted when Wilson hit tight end Zach Miller on a slant pass.

Take RGIII out for his own good.

A manager for the St. Louis Cardinals left the great Bob Gibson in to finish Game 7 of the 1964 World Series and explained, “I had a commitment to his heart.”

Is that what’s going on with Coach Mike Shanahan? It’s inconceivable that Robert Griffin III would be lifted, but it’s painful to watch him hobble and, as Mike Jones put it, it looks as if his knee brace weighs 100 pounds. No one wants to see RGIII come out; it’s his season, win or lose. But the offense isn’t going anywhere, the defense is on the field for far too long and there’s a backup quarterback who has proven capable of leading the team.

Feel to disagree in the comments, but the consensus on Twitter is that it’s time to go to Cousins. 

Third quarter takeaway… Redskins trying to hold on

The Redskins are very, very fortunate to still have the lead entering the fourth quarter, thanks to Marshawn Lynch’s fumble at the goal line as the Seahawks appeared headed to a go-ahead touchdown. Even a field goal on that drive might have made a significant difference in the game, the way things are going. The Redskins are doing virtually nothing on offense at this point and this has the feel of them just trying to hold on to this lead. But Seattle is without a healthy kicker, and that could be a factor down the stretch in a tight game.


Garcon injures shoulder

Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon suffered a shoulder injury, and team officials said his return is questionable. Garcon has three catches for 42 yards today.

UPDATE: Garcon returned to the field for Washington’s subsequent possession.

Seattle defensive end Chris Clemons, a key pass rusher, suffered a knee injury and his return is doubtful.

Should Griffin continue to play?

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III appears to be significantly hindered by his ailing right knee, enough so that people at FedEx Field are starting to wonder: Should Kirk Cousins come on in relief?

Griffin has completed 9 of 15 throws for 76 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. But he appears to be throwing only off his front — his left — foot, and that could be affecting both his velocity and his accuracy. His most recent pass, on third down, appeared to be completely errant, nowhere near either Josh Morgan or Santana Moss.

Cousins, a fourth-round draft choice and also a rookie, obviously was stellar in leading the Redskins to a Week 15 victory at Cleveland. But these are the playoffs, and Griffin has still managed to keep the Redskins up, 14-13.

Still …

The fumble that turned things around?

Seattle looked every bit like it was going to take its first lead of the afternoon, and here came Barry Cofield and London Fletcher.

Cofield and Fletcher, playing some of his best football at 37, converged on Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch at the Washington 2 yard line, and Cofield knocked the ball loose, what could be a 14-point swing. Jarvis Jenkins recovered for the Redskins. The Seahawks had taken the kickoff and picked apart the Redskins, who still lead 14-13.

Now, the question we must deal with: Should Robert Griffin III be in the game? The Redskins have done nothing since their first two drives, and Griffin doesn’t look like he can plant his balky right leg.

Second quarter takeaway… Seahawks have all the momentum at halftime

The Seahawks have scored 13 straight points and are right back in the game at halftime. The Redskins haven’t scored since Robert Griffin III came up limping after trying to plant on his injured right knee and make that throw back toward his left, then absorbed that late hit after his touchdown pass to Logan Paulsen. The Redskins have given no indication yet that they’re considering putting Kirk Cousins in the game. But if Griffin isn’t himself in the second half or starts limping heavily again, you wonder if that’s a possibility.

Hobbled Hauschka cuts Redskins’ lead to 14-13

Seattle kicker Steven Hauschka converted a 29-yard field goal on the final play of the first half to bring the Seahawks within 14-13 at halftime. This came after Hauschka suffered an ankle injury and was unable to kick off following Seattle’s previous score.

After the Redskins completely dominated, statistically, in the first quarter — out-gaining the Seahawks 129-9 — the Seahawks flipped things around in the second. Second quarter total yards: Seattle 172, Washington 11. (Halftime totals: Seattle 181, Washington 140.) Seattle now leads in time of possession as well, 15:38 to 14:22.

The big question coming out of halftime: What is the status of Robert Griffin III’s knee. Griffin was 6 of 11 for 68 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in the first half. Seattle’s Russell Wilson went 9 of 14 for 123 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions.


Griffin throws first playoff interception

Robert Griffin III threw his first postseason interception, and Seattle is in position to completely seize momentum going into halftime.

Facing second and 7 from his own 29, Griffin ran a play-action fake to running back Alfred Morris and then looked deep downfield for reciever Pierre Garcon, who was double covered. Safety Earl Browner easily leaped to make the pick.

Seattle has about three minutes to try to cut into the 14-10 lead.

Seattle punter kicks off with Hauschka hurt

Seattle punter Jon Ryan was forced to kick off — and it was scarcely a thing of beauty — after Seattle scored, with Steven Hauschka out because of an ankle injury.

Hauschka and Seahawks trainers went into the locker room and although the kicker was listed as questionable to return, he quickly returned to the sideline and was warming up.

Wilson’s first TD pass cuts Redskins

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson completed a 4-yard touchdown pass to fullback Michael Robinson with 4:38 left in the first half, cutting the Redskins’ lead to 14-10.

The play completed an eight-play, 73-yard drive that took another 5:08 off the clock.

The Seahawks have now taken the Redskins’ statistical dominance and turned it around. They have 118 yards to Washington’s 137 yards — and 109 of those Seattle yards are in the second quarter.

Also: Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka suffered an injured ankle, and the Seattle staff says his return is questionable.

RGIII … and Dr. James Andrews

When Robert Griffin III stepped into the area to be examined, he and trainers were joined by Dr. James Andrews, who is the topic of some controversy because his version of how RGIII’s knee injury was handled Dec. 9 differs from Coach Mike Shanahan’s.

Fox cameras showed Andrews quickly exiting the area. The Redskins have had no comment on the story, which appeared in USA Today.

Here’s Andrews quickly stepping out of the room:

Seahawks get on the board with a field goal

Steven Hauschka kicked 32-yard field goal to give the Seahawks their first points`and cut the Redskins’ lead to 14-3 with 12:05 remaining in the first half.

The Redskins forced Russell Wilson into a throw-away on third down. The Seahawks, though, did have their first positive possession — 12 plays for 66 yards, chewing up 5:21.

And it appears — most importantly — that Robert Griffin III is preparing to go back in.

After first quarter, Redskins dominate stats

How’s this for a first-quarter number: Redskins 129 total yards, Seattle 9.

Seahawks’ ball as we start the second quarter, with Washington up 14-0. Some others:

Time of possession: Washington 11:01, Seattle 3:59

Rushing yards: Washington 61, Seattle 5

Passing yards: Washington 68, Seattle 4

But about Robert Griffin III’s knee …

First quarter takeaway… Great start for the Redskins but Griffin’s knee is the issue

On the one hand, things couldn’t have gone any better in the first quarter for the Redskins, with two impressive touchdown drives and a 14-0 lead. But Robert Griffin III’s right knee clearly wasn’t right after he tried to plant and throw on the first-and-goal play on the second touchdown drive, and that obviously will be the leading storyline as the game continues.

Josh LeRibeus gets trainers’ attention

Josh LeRibeus, who’s subbing for the injured Kory Lichtensteiger, was worked on by trainers on the sideline, Mike Jones reports. After getting treatment, he was back with the offensive players, so presumably he’ll be back in on the Redskins’ next series.

Ian Desmond checks in…in a Redskins cap

Griffin throws second touchdown pass, limps

Robert Griffin III hit tight end Logan Paulsen with a 4-yard touchdown pass to give the Redskins a 14-0 lead with 2:26 remaining in the first quarter, Washington’s second touchdown in as many possessions.

The problem: Two plays prior, Griffin came up limping, bringing up new questions as to how effective he can be going forward.

Prior to the touchdown, Griffin rolled to his right on a designed bootleg and tried to fling the ball, side-arm, to receiver Pierre Garcon. He came down awkwardly, and limped back to the huddle, dragging the right knee that has bothered him since he originally sprained it Dec. 9 against Baltimore.

So then, things that have gone right: Two touchdowns in two possessions, plus a three and out on defense.

Things that have gone wrong: Griffin went to the examining room just behind the Redskins’ bench, and left guard Kory Lichtensteiger is out with an ankle injury.

Griffin has now returned to the Washington sideline.


Could this have started better for Redskins?

The Redskins defense followed the offense’s exceptional opening drive with a three-and-out, starting with an overthrow on a deep ball from Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson and finishing with a sack of Wilson by Stephen Bowen — who applied the original pressure — and London Fletcher, who has made several big plays over the past month.

Redskins, first and 10 from their own 46. For the Redskins, how could there be a better start than this?

RGIII doesn’t look to be 100 percent

How does Robert Griffin III look? Well, his right knee leaves a little to be desired, but his arm is just fine.

From Daniel Jeremiah, a former scout for the Ravens, Eagles and Browns:

Redskins take 7-0 lead over Seahawks

Running back Evan Royster hauled in a 4-yard scoring pass from quarterback Robert Griffin III to complete an impressive opening drive and give the Redskins an early 7-0 lead over Seattle.

Griffin’s first career playoff touchdown pass came with 9 minutes, 57 seconds left in the first quarter and finished off a 9-play, 80-yard drive in which the Redskins looked balanced and completely ready.

Rookie running back Alfred Morris had four carries for 34 yards on the drive. Griffin completed 3 of 4 passes for 43 yards, including the touchdown.

Lichtensteiger questionable to return

Kory Lichtensteiger, who sprained his ankle last week, didn’t last long today. He just left the game and is questionable to return. Lichtensteiger didn’t practice all week and has been replaced by Josh LeRibeus.

Kory Lichtensteiger to the sidelines

Redskins left guard Kory Lichtensteiger injured his left ankle on a first-and-goal play from the Seattle 3, and went to the sideline.

Rookie Josh LeRibeus replaced Lichtensteiger in the lineup.

Lichtensteiger was a game-time decision to be active with the injury he suffered last week.

A fresh coat of paint … on the field

Joe Buck was quick to point out that if it weren’t for paint, the field at FedEx would look an awful lot worse. See for yourself.

Put the flag away now. It’s game time.

One way to look at Washington vs. Washington…

Joe Gibbs cheered, Roger Goodell booed

With the first playoff game at FedEx Field in 13 years comes a variety of dignitaries. First up on the JumboTron here: Joe Gibbs, Hall of Fame coach, three-time Super Bowl winner.

The reaction: Cheers!

Next up on the JumboTron: Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, face of last year’s lockout, man who helped dock the Redskins $36 million in salary cap space over two years.

The reaction: Boos!

LG Kory Lichtensteiger expected to start

The Washington Redskins are expected to have starting left guard Kory Lichtensteiger in the starting lineup as they take on the Seattle Seahawks for today’s NFC Wild Card playoff game at FedEx Field.

Lichtensteiger (ankle) didn’t practice all week, but even then, coach Mike Shanahan declined to rule him out. Lichtensteiger said that his sprained left ankle was improving, and that he thought he had a chance to play. Lichtensteiger missed most of the second half against Dallas with the injury, and rookie Josh LeRibeus took his place.

Inactive for the Redskins are quarterback Rex Grossman (a week after dressing versus Dallas), receivers Brandon Banks and Dezmon Briscoe, linebackers Roddrick Muckelroy and Vic So’oto, and offensive linemen Tom Compton and Adam Gettis.

Safety DeJon Gomes (knee) will be active after missing last week’s game with a sprained MCL. Cornerback Cedric Griffin – suspended for the final four games of the regular season – also will play today.

Grossman’s inactivity is a sign that the Redskins remain confident in Robert Griffin III’s knee. The quarterback appeared to move around better during pre-game warmups and wore a less bulky brace than he had in previous weeks.

Gallery: The pregame party, Redskins arrive

Kai Forbath is ready

RGIII takes a lap

A change for Robert Griffin III?

It’s every Seahawk fan for himself out here

Walking through the G section of the FedEx Field parking lot, I heard a commotion to my left. Two Seahawks fans had found themselves in the middle of a Redskins tailgate. One of the Redskins fans was administering verbal jabs via bullhorn.

The two Seahawks fans, both Marines from Washington State stationed here were taking it well.

“It’s all in fun,” said Garrett Quinn, 28, who is from Seattle. “And when you have confidence in your team, it’s okay. They can say whatever they want.”

His fellow Seattle fan, Ian Mackay, 23, took some extra ribbing thanks to his necklace made of Skittles, a tribute to Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch.

“They’re going to lose, we’re going to win,” he told me, as boos rained down from the crowd.

The two Marines met by accident, moments before I spoke to them, but they may have to stick together from here on out.

“I came with my friends who are Redskins fans, but I turned around and they were gone,” laughed Quinn. “The crowd turned on me and they took off.”

Looks like it’s every man for himself today.

FedEx turf is worse for wear

The FedEx turf hasn’t looked good for a few weeks now and it wasn’t about to improve in January.

Lichtensteiger walking without a limp

Kory Lichtensteiger, who sprained his ankle last week in the victory over the Cowboys, was walking well, although he did not practice all week. 

“My gut tells me I’m gonna play on Sunday,” Lichtensteiger, who started all 16 regular-season games, said Friday, but added that his ankle is still sore.

“You can’t rule out anything at this point,” Lichtensteiger said. “I think there’s maybe one other thing we’re going to try, and we’ll see how it feels. If I go out there and feel good Sunday pregame, I’ll go dress and put my clothes on.”

Josh LeRibeus would start if Lichtensteiger cannot.


Redskins? Or someone else?

Evidently, some purists insist on separation of team gear.

DeJon Gomes warming up

DeJon Gomes, who hurt his knee last week in the victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, is testing his knee.

The Redskins’ MVP kicker (no, not Forbath)

There’s been a ton of talk about Robert Griffin III as Rookie of the Year and even Most Valuable Player, but no one is talking about Kai Forbath. 

Not that they should be. He’s a kicker, albeit it an extremely accurate one. But there was a time when a Redskins kicker was an NFL MVP.

Cameron Martin, in a New York Times story, talked with Mark Moseley, who won the award in 1982.

“And I wasn’t even supposed to be on the team that year,” said Moseley, who fought off a challenge from Dan Miller and became the only kicker to be named the Associated Press’ MVP in the Redskins’ Super Bowl season. 

“There were other worthy candidates,” Len Shapiro, The Post’s former Redskins and NFL writer, told Martin. “[Dan] Fouts had a great year. Marcus Allen had a great year that year.”

But it was, Martin writes, a strange year in which Moseley converted 20 of 21 attempts, which is now tied for 13th for best single-season percentage.

It was a strike-shortened nine-game season in which the Redskins’ offense kept stalling inside their opponents’ 20. Moseley extended his streak of successful field goals to 23, eclipsing Garo Yepremian with 20 and he played a role in winning several close games as Washington went 8-1.

“You have to keep in mind that it was just a nine-game season, so winning a few games looks really, really important,” Dave Goldberg, who covered the NFL for the AP, told Martin.

For Moseley, who lives in Northern Virginia and is head of franchising for Five Guys, it was a happy set of circumstances.

“I was so fortunate to be with the team I was with. It just so happened that that year, they really needed someone who was really accurate with kicking and I don’t know if that’s ever going to happen again in the same way. All the things just fell into place for me that year. Like I said, I wasn’t even supposed to be on that team.”

Redskins car gets a lot of attention

Neno Mejid from Fairfax bought this Land Rover in 2000 and began the process of making it his game day vehicle. The 67-year-old usually only takes it out of the garage for trips to FedEx Field, but he made an exception this weekend.

“I made the mistake of driving it to the grocery store last night because I was out of potatoes,” he told me. “I got stopped every five minutes. People were honking and waving. It took me forever just to get potatoes.”

This is Mejid’s 46th season as a Redskins ticket holder, and has been to all five Redskins Super Bowls.

“Hopefully this year makes six,” he said with a smile.

Tailgating with Bruce Allen


Ray Lewis, one last time at M&T

In his final game in M&T Bank Stadium, Ray Lewis is about as fired up as you’d expect.

Rookie QBs make for a historic day

When you begin watching today’s two remaining wild-card games, know that you’ll also be watching history.

It’s no secret that this year has been special in terms of rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson each having spectacular seasons. Not long ago, the prevailing wisdom was that a first-year passer should sit on the bench for a year – or, several, in some cases – and gradually learn the NFL’s speed and the intricacies of his team’s offense.

That thinking has changed, and today there will be three rookie quarterbacks in the same postseason for the first time in history (four if you count Kirk Cousins on the Redskins’ bench). And all are in the state of Maryland today.

The other day, even Washington Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan expressed disbelief at how well these youngsters have adjusted and, more than that, led their teams.

For context, since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, only seven teams that drafted a quarterback in the first round and started him right away, so much as had winning records. Interestingly, 2012 isn’t the first season there’s been a cash crop of multiple star rookies; in 1983, Denver’s John Elway and Miami’s Dan Marino each led their teams to winning records as the primary starter, and in 2008, Baltimore’s Joe Flacco and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan did the same.

The rest have all come since 2003, when some teams began to put aside the notion that a rookie needed time before he was ready. The Ravens went 10-6 with Kyle Boller as their starter in ’03, Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger went a staggering 15-1 in ’04, and the New York Jets were 9-7 with Mark Sanchez as their starter in 2009.

Otherwise, teams that drafted a first-round quarterback – regardless of whom they started – won an average of six games since 1970.

As for 1983 and 2008, when two rookies reached the playoffs, only Flacco won a playoff game. With Wilson and Griffin squaring off today, one of them is guaranteed to join him. — Kent Babb

Bruce Arians hospitalized in Baltimore

Bruce Arians, the offensive coordinator who served as the Indianapolis Colts’ interin coach while Chuck Pagano was undergoing treatment for leukemia, has been hospitalized in Baltimore and will not work the team’s wild-card game today against the Ravens.

Arians, according to Bob Kravitz ‏of the Indianapolis Star, had missed practice Thursday with flu-like symptoms but recovered sufficiently to travel to Baltimore. His illness is not believed to be serious and the Colts said Arians is “doing fine.”

Assistant coach Clyde Christensen, who has worked closely with Andrew Luck all season, will fill in for Arians and call plays. Pagano, of course, is back on the sideline.

Dr. James Andrews says he didn’t clear RGIII

Dr. James Andrews told USA Today that, when Robert Griffin III sprained his right knee Dec. 9, he did not immediately clear him to return to the field, as Coach Mike Shanahan told reporters.

Andrews, who was on the Redskins’ sideline during the game against the Baltimore Ravens, said he’s still worried about Griffin’s knee, although he cleared Griffin to play after he sat out the game in Cleveland.

“[Shanahan] didn’t even let us look at him,” Andrews told Robert Klemko. “He came off the field, walked through the sidelines, circled back through the players, and took off back to the field. It wasn’t our opinion. We didn’t even get to touch him or talk to him. Scared the hell out of me.”

After four plays, Griffin exited the game and Kirk Cousins finished. Asked why he would risk Griffin long-term by letting him return to the field, Shanahan said the day after the Ravens game: “He’s on the sidelines with Dr. Andrews. He had a chance to look at him and he said he could go back in. [I said] ‘Hey, Dr. Andrews, can Robert go back in?’

‘Yeah, he can go back in.’

‘Robert, go back in.’

“That was it,” Shanahan said. “He’s the one that gives me that information. It’s way over my head.”

Later on Dec. 9, Andrews said he made the decision to shut down Griffin.

“I’m the one that shut him down that day, finally,” Andrews said. “I’ve been a nervous wreck letting him come back as quick as he has. He’s doing a lot better this week, but he’s still recovering and I’m holding my breath because of it. 

“He passed all the tests and all the functional things we do, but it’s been a trying moment for me, to be honest with you.”

Through spokesman Tony Wyllie, the Redskins declined to comment on the report. Griffin, as he has since returning to the field Dec. 23, will wear a brace on his knee today. The injury, a mild sprain of the lateral collateral ligament, typically takes 2-4 weeks to heal. So far, Griffin has seemed slower and hasn’t had his usual burst of speed, although he looked better last week. 

Andrews, who is promoting his new book, told USA Today that the team has a responsibility to “make sure he’s okay for the next 15 years.  “That’s what you have to watch out for for players, because they don’t know.” Earlier this season, the Redskins were fined $20,000 for not properly disclosing an injury to the media, saying Griffin was “shaken up” when he suffered a concussion.

Players often have to be protected from themselves and Griffin, Andrews said, is “a competitor. He didn’t want to let his team down.”

NFL Playoffs: Seahawks vs. Redskins

Can he do it again this week? (Nick Wass / AP)

The last time Washington awoke to a day like this, it was Jan. 8, 2000. The New Hampshire primaries were a month off. The nation had somehow survived Y2K. And people were wondering whether Brad Johnson’s arm was tiring.

Not since that day have the Redskins hosted a playoff game. This afternoon, that 13-year wait ends. We have you covered for Seahawks-Redskins. Cindy Boren and I will have discussion points here all through the game. Cindy will help you through the early, AFC game — Colts at Ravens, which has its own storylines. At stake for Seattle and Washington: A trip to Atlanta next weekend for an NFC divisional playoff.

And for your reading pleasure, a bevy of choices. Don’t miss any of them.

Wonder how the Redskins organization has operated differently this year? Read Mark Maske’s look at Dan Snyder.

Wonder how the Redskins offense has operated differently? Read Kent Babb’s look at how one play symbolizes the options at the disposal of Robert Griffin III and Kyle Shanahan.

Wonder about the background of the opposing quarterback? Read Rick Maese on Richmond’s Russell Wilson.

And so much more: Mike Wise on London Fletcher. Mike Jones on Rex Grossman. If you’re headed to FedEx Field, take the advice of the Capital Weather Gang. Afterward, don’t forget to grade RGIII’s performance.

But whatever you read and however you watch, have fun. These days don’t seem to happen but every dozen years around here.