RG3 Injury: Redskins QB Will Never Be Same Player After Knee Surgery

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2013

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III
Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin IIIWin McNamee/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins can't afford to let Robert Griffin III remain the same player he was before his knee injury.

Mike Jones of The Washington Post wrote during the week that Griffin's surgery went well and it'll likely be about nine to 12 months before he can return to the field.

As soon as he was drafted, people wondered what kind of future a mobile quarterback would have in the NFL. You simply can't be exposed to that many hits and expect to have the same kind of career as a pocket passer.

Griffin's injury illustrated the worst-case scenario and emboldened all those who were skeptical of his and any other mobile QB's durability.

When RG3 does make his return, the Redskins can't afford to let him play the same way.

Adrian Peterson has shown with his play this year that a major knee injury is not a death sentence for a player's career. In fact, Peterson has looked as dominant as ever.

Griffin may retain his mobility, but the Redskins shouldn't let him tuck the ball and run as much as he does now.

With the money spent and the time taken to develop a rookie quarterback, choosing the wrong one can set a franchise back years.

Washington is in the same situation with too much invested in Griffin to let him increase the risk of another major injury. Aside from simply making him the franchise quarterback, the Redskins gave up two additional first-round picks in order to draft RG3.

The Harvard College Sports Analysis Collective wrote in March 2012 that in order to measure up to what Washington gave up, Griffin would have to become one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. That shows exactly how much the organization is banking on RG3 to lead this team.

This is not to say that Griffin can't return and become a very good quarterback again.

He didn't rely on only his legs to become the player he is. RG3 has the skills necessary to succeed in the NFL. He simply can't be a run-first quarterback anymore.

He needs to change his game to stay in the pocket more and more.

Griffin's numbers this year have shown that he is a very good passer. RG3 is a much more polished QB than Michael Vick was. Vick had a hard time adjusting to the West Coast offense.

With Alfred Morris, the Redskins appear to have a running game that can take much of the load off Griffin when he returns. Morris can be the workhorse, and RG3 can manage the game, much like Russell Wilson has done with the Seattle Seahawks.

Griffin's NFL career is far from over, but his days as a rushing quarterback are numbered.