RG3 Injury: Are Redskins Destroying Gifted QB's Future?

James MorisetteCorrespondent IIIJanuary 6, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 06:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins walks off of the field injured in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at FedExField on January 6, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Watching Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III wince in pain on the semi-frozen tundra at FedEx Field Jan. 6 was abysmally disturbing.

Midway through the fourth quarter of Washington’s 24-14 NFC Wild Card loss to the Seattle Seahawks, RG3 scrambled to snag an untimely snap. In the process, he aggravated the same knee he injured a few weeks ago against the Baltimore Ravens.

It was a stomach-churning sight. Griffin left the game and did not return. Consequently, the playoff spirit of 90,000-plus Skins fans went with him.

Watching RG3’s knee snap, Redskins fans can only hope this gifted young man is able to return to form next season.

The key word is hope. For even while loving Griffin’s toughness, fans have got to be wondering if the Redskins brass is focused more on profit and tactical success than on RG3’s long-term future.

Granted, Griffin is not the first pro athlete to wave off the doctors. But sometimes it is imperative the hierarchy grab a stubborn athlete by the collar and help him see the bigger picture (if this is the case).

From the looks of things, it appears one man tried.

His name is Dr. James Andrews.

Andrews is the same doctor that helped gifted Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson recover from a brutal knee injury last season.

Andrews was also supportive of the Washington Nationals front office for shutting down stud hurler Stephen Strasburg (per ESPN).

Never one to throw caution to the wind, Andrews may have had an empty, yet angry, feeling in the pit of his stomach watching RG3 struggle. This feeling may have stemmed from past advice that went ignored by Redskins officials.

Earlier today, Robert Klemko of USA Today reported Andrews never cleared RG3 to re-enter the game after badly injuring his knee against the Baltimore Ravens a few weeks ago. Andrews’ words are in direct conflict with what Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said.

From Klemko:

[Mike] Shanahan said he let Griffin return with the blessing of James Andrews, the renowned orthopedic surgeon, who was on the sideline. Andrews; however, told USA TODAY Sports on Saturday that he never cleared Griffin to go back into the game, because he never examined him.

Klemko went on to write that the reason RG3 was never examined was because he refused an examination.

Flash forward to this afternoon’s matchup.

Griffin did not look right nearly the entire game. He looked wobbly, and—at times—very indecisive. It was as if he was not sure if he could unload the football downfield for fear of failing to get enough "oomph" behind it.   

A sign that things may not have been right occurred early in the game, when RG3 limped into a strange shack with team doctors between possessions.

A bigger indicator reared its ugly head when Griffin hobbled out of bounds on a scramble play in the third quarter. Replay showed RG3 had plenty of room to turn up field and make something big happen.

The look on Griffin’s face reflected a resolute athlete grimacing through unspeakable pain trying to help his team to victory.

Give RG3 credit. He has surely passed the litmus test of toughness.

But did testosterone trump reason in this case? Seeing Griffin hobbling like he was, why did Shanahan leave him in the game?

Surely backup quarterback Kirk Cousins has proven he can lead the Redskins when called upon. Right?

Not on this night. But Cousins did step in admirably when RG3 could not go at the end of the regular season.

For Redskins’ faithful, the coming days and weeks will be tough to swallow. Those who support this team are in sheer and utter shock.

But soon this shock will turn to outrage. And when this happens, questions will fly regarding the method behind the madness that seemed to be Dr. Andrews’ worst nightmare come true.