Robert Griffin III reinjures knee on fumbled snap
Robert Griffin III’s spectacular rookie season came to an end in gut-wrenching fashion on Sunday evening. Griffin’s right knee, already fitted with a bulky brace due to an injury he suffered back in Week 14, bent awkwardly as he attempted to recover a fumbled snap against the Seahawks, leaving the Washington QB down in pain.
Eventually, Griffin gingerly stood up and limped into the tunnel behind the Redskins’ bench. Kirk Cousins replaced him on the Redskins’ next possession, though Griffin did return to the sideline.
Griffin initially hurt that knee when he took a huge hit during the Redskins’ win over Baltimore — as Haloti Ngata made contact with him, Griffin’s knee whipped forward and hyperextended.
RGIII tried to return to that game but left again after just four plays, then sat out Washington’s win over Cleveland the next week, then returned to the lineup against Philadelphia.
Despite delivering victories in Weeks 16 and 17, Griffin seemed to be playing at less than 100 percent — a fact that was quite noticeable whenever he tried to run the football. He had no real trouble leading Washington down the field for an early touchdown Sunday, though, even with a little hitch in his step.
But the game’s outlook began to change on Washington’s second scoring drive. On a 1st-and-goal play, Griffin scrambled to his right and fired an incompletion to the end zone as he fell to the turf. He came up limping badly. Neither Griffin nor the Redskins’ offense was able to recover after that, despite holding a 14-0 lead. Griffin’s dire situation was highlighted on zone-read option in the fourth quarter — he broke outside, then almost had to drag his leg forward for eight yards. Cousins’ first possession, after Seattle took a 24-14 lead courtesy of that fumbled Griffin snap, ended when he was hammered and threw an incomplete pass on 4th-and-14.
Mike Shanahan can expect some criticism for his decision to keep playing a clearly bothered RGIII, especially in the wake of a Sunday report that Dr. James Andrews never cleared Griffin to return to the Ravens game after his injury, despite Shanahan’s insistence that he did.