ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — It doesn’t sound good for Robert Griffin III.
An injury that sidelines RG3 well into next season is a very real possibility — or at least it seemed that way Monday after coach Mike Shanahan described the results of tests on the rookie’s right knee.
Shanahan said the results are prompting the team to send Griffin to Florida on Tuesday to see renowned orthopedist James Andrews for more examinations, essentially a second opinion that will decide the team’s fate for the 2013 season.
“There is a concern,” Shanahan said. “That’s why he’s going to see him.”
Griffin tore his ACL while playing for Baylor in 2009, and Shanahan said that old injury caused Griffin’s latest MRI to prove inconclusive and produce “differences of opinion” in those who have looked at it.
“They want to take another look and have a physical exam with him,” Shanahan said, “to make sure they’re not looking at old injuries.”
A torn ACL typically requires a rehabilitation period of nine to 12 months, although some players don’t return to full health until their second season after the injury. On the other hand, one of this season’s most remarkable stories was Adrian Peterson, who returned about eight months after tearing an ACL and nearly broke the NFL’s single-season rushing record.
Notably, Shanahan referenced Peterson on Monday, pointing out that the Minnesota Vikings back had the big season without the benefit of an offseason practice program. It could be a possible scenario for Griffin.
Shanahan was grilled about his handling of Griffin’s injury. Already playing with a heavy black brace in his third game since spraining a lateral collateral ligament, Griffin hurt the knee again when he fell awkwardly while throwing a pass in the first quarter of Sunday’s 24-14 playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Griffin stayed in the game, but he was far from his usual self, clearly favoring the knee and unable to run with the world-class speed that helped define his play early in the season.
Then, in the fourth quarter with the Redskins trailing by seven, the knee buckled the wrong way when Griffin tried to field a bad shotgun snap. The Seahawks recovered the fumble deep in Washington territory, setting up a short field goal that helped put the game out of reach. Griffin was done for the evening.
Shanahan said he thought he made the “right decisions” to keep Griffin in the game and that it would be “crazy” to think he would purposely sacrifice Griffin’s career to win a game. He said he did not talk to team doctors initially after Griffin was hurt in the first quarter, instead relying on Griffin’s word.
“I went up to Robert. I said, ‘You OK?'” Shanahan said. “And he said, ‘I’m fine.'”