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Who’s to Blame for Robert Griffin III’s Knee Injury?
It’s Topic A on TV, the radio, blogs, and the Web in DC and beyond. By Carol Ross Joynt
The view of the field during Sunday’s game. Photograph by Carol Ross Joynt.
Comments () | Published January 7, 2013

Robert Griffin III has a hurt knee. We know that. How critical the injury will be to his future playing ability remains to be seen. But the debate in Washington (and beyond) today is: Who’s to blame for the injury? After attending Sunday’s game and spending an evening, night, and morning absorbed in network television analysis, radio sports talk shows, tweets, blogs, and newspaper columns, we find the conventional wisdom breaks down this way, and in this order.

1) Mike Shanahan. He’s the coach. No matter what RG3 said at his postgame news conference about being hell-bent on playing regardless of what the coach said, the coach is still the boss and should make that call. People who blame Shanahan say he should have pulled Griffin after the first quarter, during which he was visibly hobbling. They also believe he should have taken better care of the team’s prize player throughout the season, and maybe even take a page from the Nationals’ playbook, where general manager Davey Johnson pulled pitcher Stephen Strasburg when doctors said he should, as Strasburg continued to recover from Tommy John surgery.

2) Robert Griffin III. He’s quarterback and team captain, and it’s his knee, but he’s also young, a rookie, and passionate about fulfilling his responsibilities. These are admirable qualities, but people who blame Griffin feel he was a little too passionate, should have put his overall long-term health first, and, as the patient, was not the best judge of the severity of his injuries. Maybe Griffin needs to be a little less stubborn. Yes, he’d been getting the job done over the past few weeks, but at what cost?

3) Dan Snyder. The team’s principal owner has been given a lot of credit for stepping back this season and letting the Shanahans run the game, but maybe he stepped back too far. Maybe Mike and Kyle Shanahan shouldn’t be given too much freedom. People who blame Snyder use the classic “The buck stops here,” and also ask, “What was up with the playing field?” In person and on television it was hard to ignore that it looked worn and torn.

4) The Seattle Seahawks. They didn't cause Griffin's injury, but the desire to beat them caused him to play as he did.

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  • Newpc1953

    I understand the feeling of RG3 saying he was just hurting. BUT anybody could see he was really hobbling! They shoot horses with a bad leg! I think it was a slap in Kirk Cousins face that he wasn't given an opportunity to try and win this game sooner. It was like saying an injured RG3 was better than a 100% healthy Cousins. It was obvious he was not a threat by the way he moved, threw and ran. And another thing....Where was the sense of urgency at the end of this game when they went down by 7? They looked like they were in slow motion.The DEF made a nice stand after the fumble, then the offense came out after the FG and had time for a score and an onside kick if they hustled. It looked like they had thrown in the towel to me! Let's hope RG3 recovers 100% for next year.

  • Great article!

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Posted at 01:55 PM/ET, 01/07/2013 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs