Posted August 30, 2013

Does Dr. James Andrews have concerns about Robert Griffin III’s knee? Reports conflict

NFC East, Washington Redskins
Dr. James Andrews (left) cleared Robert Griffin III to play, only to express concerns about his usage.

Dr. James Andrews (left) cleared Robert Griffin III to play, only to express concerns about his usage. (Al Tielemans/SI)

UPDATE (3 p.m.): According to The Washington Times‘ Bruce McNally, Dr. Andrews is disputing ESPN’s report. “Not true,” Andrews reportedly told McNally via text. “Team will use [Griffin] appropriately. No concerns.”


Robert Griffin III announced to the world Thursday night that he had been cleared to play by Dr. James Andrews, less than eight months after blowing out his knee in a playoff loss. Washington coach Mike Shanahan tempered the excitement a little bit, though, telling the Washington Post that Andrews had “a couple concerns”.

Friday, ESPN’s Trey Wingo reported via Twitter that “the ‘concerns’ about RGIII have less to do with health of the knee, much more on how the team plans to use him.” Wingo’s ESPN colleague added that Wingo also had been told “Dr. Andrews does not want Redskins to expose RGIII’s knee to punishment during games.”

This is … confusing, to say the least.

If Griffin was indeed fully cleared to play in the regular season, then Andrews’ reported comments about how the Redskins might utilize their QB would appear to be more suggestion than order. So does that mean that Andrews is concerned Griffin’s knee cannot hold up under the rigors it went through last season?

As for Andrews’ hope that Washington will avoid exposing “RGIII’s knee to punishment during games,” well, good luck. Tom Brady’s knee injury several seasons ago, which led to the NFL implementing a rule against tackling a quarterback low, occurred in the pocket on a simple drop-back. Even the most vanilla of offenses cannot guarantee that a QB will avoid the occasional big hit.

Odds are that Shanahan planned to reel in Griffin a bit this season anyway, in hopes of keeping him on the field for 16 games. Beyond calling less option plays or instructing Griffin to stay in the pocket longer, there’s only so much the Washington coach can do.

Which brings us back to Andrews’ comments. It is not out of the ordinary for a doctor to offer up post-surgery recommendations for avoiding further injury, athlete or otherwise. That may be all we’re dealing with here.

However, if Andrews has substantial, lingering concerns about what Griffin should and should not do on a football field, that would not bode well for the Redskins. They need RGIII at his normal, healthy, creative best with the football in his hands.

11 comments
KidHorn
KidHorn

The only option for everyone is for RGIII to play and give it 100%. You have to assume nothing bad will happen. If his knee gets injured again, so be it. The worst that will happen is he'll be out for the rest of the year and either his career will be over or he'll have to learn to be a pocket passer. If the skins are running plays designed to keep the QB from getting injured, they'll lose.

friendly--neighborhood--scrawler
friendly--neighborhood--scrawler

RGIII lost the trust of his head coach last year with the high school girl antics he pulled on side line. To lose a man's respect is one thing, you can get that back but to lose a person's trust is very different, that is not easily given and especially hard to get back. 
 
RGIII needs to watch Russell Wilson on film, rarely are running plays called for Russell and he had about 300 yrds less than RGIII on the ground.  Until Robert learns to use his leg as an asset and not just a weapon he will never get great just another good player

NFL_Madness
NFL_Madness

How ever they do it, Shanahan better not listen to RG3.  If he thinks he's hurt, he needs to take him out.

eddie767
eddie767

This is Shanahans way of not taking any blame,if RG3 gets hurt on one of the plays. That's a punk move,if Andrews never said a thing. Plus,it might also save his job if an injury happens.

JohnnyNacho
JohnnyNacho

Robert hasn't even taken a hit yet and has no idea how the knee will react to game speed.  Knee will blow up like a grape fruit and need  it drained at half time.....or take the needle.


Either way....doubt the knee holds up for 16 games so I doubt they trade Cousins anytime soon.

Cool
Cool

Unless for the first time in the history of the NFL, a coach allows a Doctor to be at his side approving all plays, I don't think this is much of a story.  I'm not even a Doctor and I am pretty confident in saying that if someone hits RGIII in the right way, it's not going to be pretty.

riley8
riley8

This is merely a way out for Andrews when/if RG3's knee blows out.  EIther way he can say, " I told you so."

NoQNoSuperBowl
NoQNoSuperBowl

These folks are all about one solid ankle tackle away from lawyering up. 

RickLodewell
RickLodewell

"Beyond calling less option plays or instructing"

FEWER option plays.  FEWER!!!!!

I hate to be a prig, but c'mon.  that's pretty basic.  

Michael50
Michael50

@Cool "I'm not even a Doctor and I am pretty confident in saying that if someone hits RGIII in the right way, it's not going to be pretty."

Gee, that is insightful. If someone hits ANYBODY'S knee the right way, it will not be pretty. Adrian Peterson arguably takes far more punishment, and his knee seems to be hold up just fine.

Cool
Cool

@RollTide_1956 I am positive that your spamming as a bama fan is going over well with the fans... Let me make a little bet with you.. If you actually reveal your spam face to bama fan's they will roll all over your spammy face.