“People can limp around; people can be hurting,” Hall of Fame quarterback and ESPN analyst Steve Young said Wednesday. “Some of the great John Wayne hero things that have ever happened in football happened because people play hurt.”
The first major injury to Griffin’s knee was the torn ACL in the third game of the 2009 season with Baylor, when he was hurt on the opening drive against Northwestern State but kept playing until halftime. Griffin missed the rest of the year but returned in 2010 and won the Heisman Trophy in 2011.
Griffin, who can make plays with his world-class speed as well as his arm, left a game with a concussion early this season. He then learned to protect his body better as the weeks went along.
But last month he sprained the LCL when he was hit by Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata at the end of a 13-yard scramble. Griffin missed one game and returned to play in three more while wearing a bulky knee brace, his mobility clearly hindered.
On Sunday, Griffin hurt the knee again as he fell awkwardly while throwing a pass late in the first quarter against the Seahawks. He was mostly ineffective the rest of the game, completing only four passes after that drive.
Griffin finally departed with 6:19 to play in the game, after the knee buckled while he was trying to field a bad shotgun snap.
The No. 2 overall pick in last year’s draft, Griffin was one of several rookie quarterbacks to make an instant impact on the NFL this season. He set the league record for best season passer rating by a rookie QB and led the Redskins to their first NFC East title in 13 years.
Griffin’s knee has kept the nation’s capital on tenterhooks all week. He was hurt Sunday. Then Shanahan announced Monday that a second opinion was needed.
Then on Tuesday came word that surgery would be taking place. Wednesday was the actual surgery. While it was taking place, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray said he will invite Griffin to watch President Barack Obama‘s inaugural parade on a reviewing stand outside the district government building later this month.
“I’d love to have him come, but … he obviously may be unable. His mobility may be impaired somewhat at that point,” Gray said. “My focus right now is on having him successfully get through the surgery.”