Should the Redskins Have Played Robert Griffin III?

In the aftermath of yesterday’s NFL playoff game between the Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks one question was asked more than any other: Why did Redskins coach Mike Shanahan leave quarterback Robert Griffin III in the game for so long when he was clearly injured?

The Redskins jumped out to a 14-0 lead yesterday with Griffin playing well, but noticeably hampered by a knee injury. As the game progressed, Griffin’s limp got worse, especially after a bad fall late in the first quarter. In the third quarter, Fox announcer Joe Buck wondered if the hobbled Griffin should still be in the game. Soon after, with the Redskins losing early in the fourth quarter, Griffin’s knee gave out completely after a bad snap, and he was done for the day with what may be a torn ACL or MCL.

When asked that same question in the post-game news conference, Shanahan said that Griffin had told him he was hurt, but “not injured.”  Here lies the problem. A player is always going to want to play despite being hurt. It’s Shanahan’s and the team doctor’s responsibility to protect the player from himself.

It’s not the first time the Redskins concern for Griffin’s safety has come under scrutiny. According to USA Today, when Griffin was injured in a December 6 game the team physician was not allowed to examine him and was “a nervous wreck” when Griffin went back into the game.

By continuing to play the injured Griffin yesterday, Shanahan was putting the safety of his player at great risk in order to win one game. Watching how the Redskins handled Griffin yesterday was in stark contrast to how another Washington team, the Nationals, handled their star pitcher Stephen Strasburg this past season.

The ironic part is, Griffin was so hobbled that he became less effective as the game wore on, and removing him was probably the best thing to do in order to win the game anyway. So Shanahan failed his team stratigically, as well as his player physically. In the end, Griffin did get hurt even worse, and Shanahan can only hope that he didn’t do any long-term damage to his franchise quarterback. If he had to do it again, one wonders if he would do it differently.


What do you think, should Griffin have even played yesterday?

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15 comments for “Should the Redskins Have Played Robert Griffin III?

  1. January 9, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    They should fine the coach heavily and I mean heavy.

  2. Wayne T.
    January 10, 2013 at 4:55 am

    This is a human being, not some race horse. We call it inhumane with animals, what do we call it when a human is subject to a win at any cost approach mentality. Who is protecting the players? Wow!

  3. rio
    January 10, 2013 at 9:18 am

    I believe RGII should have started the game but It was a terrible decision to him in. As soon as he began limping and was visibly immobile (shortly after his first hit) he should have been taken out. It was clear he was injured. I understand it’s playoffs but It’s not not worth jeopardizing such a promising young athletes career or health. Mike Shanahan and the team doctor should be ashamed of themselves since this was the second time RGIII was left in too long after an injury.

  4. Dylan
    January 15, 2013 at 8:21 am

    I think that, they maybe shouldn’t of played him in that game. That’s why they have backup quarterbacks, so now they have to wait and see if Griffin comes back, but from my point of view that was a bad idea keeping him in the whole entire game when they clearly saw that he was in pain!

  5. Zach
    January 15, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Although I think RG3 should have been taken out of the game sooner, I think Shanahan would have been belittled regardless of his decision to leave him in or take him out. Had the Redskins won the game with Griffin in the game, it would have been called a valiant effort by both RG3 and Mike Shanahan. On the flip side of that, I believe that if Griffin had been taken out and the Redskins still lost, Shanahan would have been told he made a poor decision taking out Griffin because he is so vital to the team’s success. In my opinion, the media was going to have a hay-day with this story regardless of what Shanahan did.

  6. Elizabeth Montgomery
    January 15, 2013 at 8:27 am

    I think that they should have taken him out much much earlier because they were putting his career at risk after the first quarter. He was clearly hurt and he did good during the first quarter, but no matter how much he wanted to play,the coach should have taken him out! I think that the coach should get in trouble for jeopardizing his career by letting him play so long while he was injured.

  7. Cosand
    January 15, 2013 at 9:10 am

    I think it was the right move to start him for the game, but to keep him playing the entire game was a mistake, the Redskins gave up a lot for RGIII during last years draft, why jeopardize his entire career for one playoff win.

  8. weston
    January 15, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Griffin is a tough player. He did not want to be removed, yes the coach and the doctor should have pulled him, but toughness is key. You play to win the game. Back in the day Jim Brown broke his wrist and some ribs and continued to play. An ACL is serious but with advanced technology that we have today, Griffin will have a 100% recovery.

  9. Austin Durant
    January 15, 2013 at 9:14 am

    He was hurt from the beginning, having him play more would jeopardizing the rest of his career. They should have probably taken him out sooner than they did.

  10. Arrow
    January 15, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I think the coach should of taken him out of the game. Having him play after he was already hurt was a horrible mistake. Keeping him in could ruin his entire career as a football player.

  11. Jordan
    January 15, 2013 at 9:14 am

    RGIII should’ve started the game because he gave the Redskins the best chance of winning. The team physician made the choice to clear him to go back in the game. I think that he should have stayed out of the game, but hindsight is 20/20. The Redskins were trying to do what was best for the team. Maybe RGIII should have played maybe he shouldn’t have but player safety should be top priority for every team.

  12. Spencer
    January 15, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Yes he should of started but with the limp he had that got worse as the game went on the coach should of knew something was wrong and pulled him before it got any worse.

  13. Michael saint
    January 15, 2013 at 9:15 am

    I think that playing him for awhile wounldn’t hurt but they should have pulled him out when he started limping.

  14. Paula Z
    January 18, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Silly question: Griffin is over the age of 18. Is he capable of determining whether or not he is fit to play or is the coach there to assist him in making a decision?

  15. January 18, 2013 at 8:15 am

    I am not a redskins fan, but I am a RGIII fan. I liked him as a college student/athlete and now watching him do the things he did this year is amazing. What a great career he will hopefully have. I hope that the one thing he does have is a long career.( but toughness is key), no I disagree with that statement from above. Its not about toughness, it was about the entire redskin organization taking a huge chance on this young mans future. He is the franchise, he is a big part of this puzzle that they are trying to create a championship team. This will make the redskins and their fans a huge success story and and I hope they didn’t destroy that hope and bubble. An ACL is serious but with advanced technology that we have today, Griffin will have a 100% recovery another statement from above. NO he will never be 100%, he may be able to play again, but never like the past, never the same mobility he had in the past. He may recover, but he will never be the same. The redskins and their entire organization took a huge chance, just to win a playoff game. Shame on coach, Dr. but the owner is the one that should be really *&^%$#. Its his money and future dreams of a championship team. good luck Mr.RGIII may you enjoy your stay in Redskins land and I really pray that you have a great future, you’ve earned it and you and your family deserve it. Remember, though they won’t tell you this, you are just a piece of meat to them. Protect yourself, because obviuosly they didn’t protect you. Make your decisions that will give you a chance for a great career and protect you. One day, you will be done playing football, when that happens hopefully you will be able to walk normally and enjoy your retirement.. I will say good luck and enjoy the NFL.

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