Posted October 07, 2012

Robert Griffin III hurt on hit by Atlanta’s Sean Weatherspoon

Washington Redskins

Robert Griffin III has already taken a number of big hits as an NFL player. (Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE)

Robert Griffin III has taken some big shots already in his young NFL career, and the one delivered by Atlanta’s Sean Weatherspoon on Sunday knocked Washington’s superstar rookie out of the game.

Griffin rolled out of the pocket deep in Atlanta territory, then tried to scramble up the sideline. Weatherspoon was waiting for him, though, and laid a huge hit on Griffin as he dove to the ground. Griffin rolled over and stayed down for a moment before walking slowly to the sideline. Trainers attended to him on the sideline, and Griffin appeared to have a bloody lip. [si_launchNFLPopup video='5e7e2f2cdbc54bbfa5734e0ff4a01eb0']You can watch the hit on RGIII here[/si_launchNFLPopup].

According to the FOX broadcast, Griffin was taken to the Redskins’ locker room to be checked for a concussion. Moments later, it was reported that he would not return to the game. Mike Shanahan announced after the game that Griffin suffered a “mild concussion,” and did not know the game’s score or quarter when asked immediately after the hit.

Fellow rookie Kirk Cousins took over for Griffin, and on his second career possession, [si_launchNFLPopup video='13168adbe828463bb1f2a53837645086']threw a 77-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss[/si_launchNFLPopup]. That play gave Washington a 17-14 lead over Atlanta in the fourth quarter. But after Atlanta rallied, Cousins threw a pair of interceptions to help the Falcons seal a road victory.

Protecting Griffin has been one of Redskins coach Mike Shanahan’s main concerns so far this season. After the Redskins’ Week 3 loss to Cincinnati, Shanahan lamented the beating Griffin took:

“You don’t want a quarterback taking as many shots as he did, Shanahan said. “That’s for sure.”

Griffin expressed surprise about the number of shots he took — or, rather, the number of hits the officials allowed him to take — in Washington’s Week 1 win over New Orleans. He has not quite figured out how to avoid those painful moments, though. The Bengals beat up Griffin in Week 3, then Tampa Bay did the same in Week 4.

Like other mobile quarterbacks, Griffin does some of his best work when he can get out of the pocket, either on designed runs or improvisations. However, as the Eagles have learned with Michael Vick, that can leave a QB open to some unnecessary collisions.

Griffin has to find a way to balance his natural tendency to try to make plays with the physicality of NFL games. Maybe Weatherspoon’s hit will speed up Griffin’s learning curve.


just go ahead and start putting dresses on the quarterbacks. If you can't take the heat you need to get out of the kitchen. I hope the NFL doesn't over react and change the game by making the quarterback unhittable at all. I can just see the news reel, "NFL adopts flag football rules to protect the delicate quarterbacks."


Freakin' ridiculous!  If you want to knock someone out, get in the f-ing ring, if you want to play football, play the f-ing game!!!  It's not a game if you take out your opponent on cheap shots.  Even, if some of you think it wasn't cheap, winning b/c you hurt the opponent's QB is as good as hooking up with your ex-gf's fat roommate.  No real challenge.  I am about over this sport b/c of a-holes just trying to hurt each other instead of playing the actual game, P******!


 @TommyStarkweather RG3 was running head first, he was not sliding.  The hit was not helmet to helmet.  He was tackled like any other player would have been.  I don't see how you can call that a cheap shot.  Any wide receiver would have ran out of bounds on that play, RG3 should have too.


If tackling a QB is not allowed, then how is the game going to be played?


When the q/back is in the pocket he should be protected, but when these uber athletes want to show off how they can run, well then they are fair game to be hit as hard as any tailback carrying the ball. They are no longer quarterbacks when they take off!!! Guys like RGIII and Mike Vick are not stout enough to take the big hits withoutout damage. Tough darts.