The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Washington Redskins yesterday 24 to 14 in the first round of the NFL playoffs. As bad as the loss was for the Redskins, it was made worse when rookie star quarterback Robert Griffin III aggravated his already injured right knee. While attempting to retrieve the football after a bad snap, his knee bent in an unnatural way. As the above photo shows, it looked pretty bad. Unless Griffin is part flamingo, I don’t think his leg is supposed to bend like that.
Griffin went down and did not get up. Seattle recovered the ball on Washington’s five yard line. They settled for a field goal with a little over five minutes remaining. On Washington’s next possession, backup quarterback Kirk Cousins tried to mount a comeback, but he had trouble completing a pass.
In retrospect, I don’t understand why Griffin even started the game. It was clear almost immediately that he wasn’t healthy. Not only did he have a bulky leg brace on his right knee, he actually limped when he ran. Because of Griffin’s injury, Seattle never had to worry about Griffin running. He became a one-dimensional quarterback. Because of the bad knee, he couldn’t move well in the pocket and his passes weren’t as precise as they normally are.
Why have a backup quarterback if you’re not going to use him?
I think Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan has a lot to answer for. Robert Griffin III is the Redskins’ future and Shanahan didn’t seem to have much regard for the long-term well-being of the team’s franchise quarterback. It looked like Shanahan was more concerned with the short-term and not the long-term. The way the Redskins managed Griffin is the complete opposite of how the Washington Nationals managed star pitcher Stephen Strasburg. That Nationals shut him down last September for the remainder of the season and the playoffs. Strasburg had Tommy John surgery towards the end of his 2010 rookie season and 2012 marked his first full season back. The Nationals decided to limit the amount of innings pitched before the beginning of the 2012 season for the sake of Strasburg surgically repaired arm. They cared more about the long-term then the short-term.
Too bad the Redskins didn’t feel the same way.