Gotta hand it to Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan for having the vision to throw his one-legged franchise quarterback back into the wildcard game against the Seattle Seahawks. Who cares if Robert Griffin III could barely move? This was a wildcard game.
We know how this story has ended, or at least evolved. RGIII is having surgery on Wednesday morning to repair tears in his lateral collateral ligament and to have his ACL examined. The timetable on his return is nine to 12 months. Don't be surprised if RG3 returns sooner, as Vikings running back Adrian Peterson did this season after he ripped his ACL late last season.
Younger guys have a tendency to heal quicker. For RG3's sake, let's hope he does. He is a good pro, and good for his sport.
Football players suffer injuries all the time, and they know the risks involved even if they never think it's never going to happen to them.
Most of the criticism today, and there is a lot, is aimed squarely at Shanahan for putting RG3 back on the field against the Seahawks. He deserves his share of the blame. So does RG3.
I blame the sport.
This whole situation confirms our worst fears about contact sports, especially football - Coaches will put a player's health in jeopardy because they don't want to jeopardize losing a game, and in turn the player will consent because he doesn't want to lose his job. It is this same mindset that has players routinely lying about concussions, or the state of their overall physical health when they are playing.
RG3 was in no threat of losing his job, but he wanted to push through. It's admirable, right up to the point when it's stupid. Playing in a wildcard game against the Seahawks was not worth the risk.
It shows you how powerful Dr. James Andrews is that he openly questioned Shanahan for letting him play despite the bad knee. Shanahan said Andrews cleared him, which the doctor denies. Whom do you believe? Most doctors who are receiving a check from a team would NEVER openly say such things against the mighty head coach.
If RG3 returns to form this story will fade. Until that day happens, Shanahan is going to face a lot of deserved criticism, RG3 will be lauded for his toughness, and the Washington Redskins will pray to any God it can find that their franchise QB will be the same guy.
Meanwhile, don't expect what should be yet another cautionary tale to change anything.
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