Shanahan’s gross mishandling of RGIII
By Eric Wilkins, Staff Writer
It turns out that the Redskins lost more than just the game when they played the Seahawks in the first round of the playoffs. Robert Griffin III, their prized franchise quarterback suffered ACL, LCL, and meniscus tears. To those who aren’t up with the anatomical lingo, he basically destroyed his knee.
It never should have gotten to that point though. RGIII was already playing on a less than 100 per cent knee coming into the game, hobbled by a previous injury. He probably shouldn’t have been playing at all. Mike Shanahan stuck RGIII into the game anyway. The rookie got off to a roaring start, leading the ‘Skins to two touchdowns right off the bat. It wasn’t long after that though that things began to head downhill. Facing a ferocious Seattle pass rush, it was only a matter of time. Sure enough, RGIII eventually came up limping. Limping badly.
With the face of the franchise clearly injured, what did Shanahan do? He kept him in the game. Makes you wonder if anything goes on in that head of his at all. Playing on one leg, Griffin was bottled up completely by the ‘Hawks defense, and one felt that it couldn’t be long before a switch had to be made for the good of the team. But no, RGIII was still there late in the fourth, and that’s when disaster struck. RGIII’s knee buckled after the pivot tried to coral a bad snap and he crumpled to the ground. He stayed down.
The reports suggest that Griffin only suffered a partial tear (of his ACL at least), but as anyone knows, in the world of professional sports, a partial tear is as good as a full tear; if you want to get back to full functionality, you have to have it all replaced anyway. And if it all wasn’t bad enough already, the young signal caller tore the ACL in the same knee several years ago at Baylor.
How Shanahan still has a job is a mystery to me. What he did is the equivalent of taking a car out on a flat tire, continuing to drive the car as it popped another, and then taking none of the responsibility when the vehicle ultimately crashed. Sideline reports have indicated that Griffin wanted to stay in the game, but what RGIII wanted is completely irrelevant. The coach is there for a reason. He’s there to manage the team and make smart decisions. Decisions players can’t make for themselves. Regardless of what his quarterback told him, Shanahan should have ignored it and sat him on the bench.
And now RGIII will most likely try and come back in time for the start of next season. He’ll probably tear some ligaments again and cast his career into doubt. The world only has one Adrian Peterson. The Vikings running back is a freak of nature. One of a kind. Coming off reconstructive knee surgery in late December and managing to return for the season opener was nothing short of remarkable. And then to lead the league in rushing and almost break Eric Dickerson’s rushing record in the same season? No words adequately describe what an impossible feat he pulled off. While Robert Griffin III is an incredible athlete, to try and replicate AP’s comeback would be utter foolishness. Take the necessary time and rehab it fully. Sit out until late in the year, or even take the entire season off. There’s no sense in risking a bright future for a few wins.