Robert Griffin III: Redskins QB's Style of Play Not to Blame for Fluke Injury

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIDecember 10, 2012

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 09:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins scrambles with the ball against the Baltimore Ravens in the second half during a game at FedExField on December 9, 2012 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

There will be inevitable concern raised about Robert Griffin III's style of play in light of the injury that knocked the Washington Redskins QB out of Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens.

However, that concern isn't necessarily justified in the context of the situation and the fluky nature of the right knee sprain RGIII sustained.

The hit that Ravens DL Haloti Ngata put on Griffin came on a fourth-quarter scramble on what would ultimately be the game-tying drive. The quarterback tried to crumble to the ground to avoided contact, but was knocked slightly off course before getting sideswiped by the massive Baltimore Pro Bowler.

It initially looked like a significant injury, but wound up being just a sprain, according to Mike Jones of the Washington Post:

Redskins announce Griffin knee injury is a knee sprain MRI showed.

— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) December 10, 2012

Running the ball is something that fans are going to have to live with as Griffin continues his captivating career in the nation's capital, because that's the unique dimension of his game that makes him so dangerous.

Along with fellow rookie Alfred Morris in the backfield, Griffin has thrived in a game-changing offense under offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. The read option aspect of Griffin's college system at Baylor is still there, but Shanahan puts him in the pistol formation, which is a variation of the shotgun where Griffin is closer to center and Morris is lined up behind him.

Morris has utilized the trademark zone-blocking scheme—the one that head couch Mike Shanahan had immense success with in Denver—to his advantage in already running for 1,228 yards on the year. The unique schematics have given defenses a headache, and Griffin, who has run for 748 yards and six touchdowns already, has complemented Morris’ consistency.

Griffin's fleet-footed ability has also forced defenses into the box, and freezes them on play-action fakes. That has helped Griffin ascend to the top in the league with an average of 8.28 yards per pass attempt.

To be fair, it is discouraging that it was the second time RGIII has left a game due to injury in 2012, but this time it wasn't anything he could control. He vowed after getting knocked out of the Atlanta Falcons game that he would take better care of himself, and he had until that point.

Griffin will only get better at learning how to slide and better protect his body as his pro career progresses. But to criticize him for his reckless style of play in light of the Ngata hit is irresponsible.

Chalk this up to the assertion that "injuries are part of the game" and hope that Griffin can return to ignite the Redskins to the playoffs. Unless you're an NFC East fan, of course.