Mike Shanahan is a polarizing figure, but he may have pushed more people into the we hate him category thanks to yet another smug and stupid move during Sunday’s playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Superstar rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III had to leave the game after re-injuring his right knee, but well before that injury happened — one that left RGIII motionless on the ground– the warning signs were shouted at Shanahan who refused to listen.
Dr. James Andrews, the world famous sports surgeon, serves as a medical advisor for the Washington Redskins, and it was reported before the game that Dr. Andrews never gave RGIII his medical green light prior to his Week 17 return against the Cowboys. The implication was that if the Redskins had listened to Dr. Andrews, that Griffin III wouldn’t have started either Washington’s season finale or their Wild Card showdown with the Seahawks.
Shanahan had Kirk Cousins on the sidelines, a guy who had proven he can win in big spots. Cousins relieved an injured RGIII and helped Washington come from behind against the Ravens to keep their playoff hopes alive. He also started the next week and beat the Cleveland Browns, so even though he wasn’t a seasoned veteran, Cousin’s is a proven winner.
Griffin III was limpimg before the injury, but when he went to fall on a fumble, his knee bent in all the wrong ways, and it was imediatley clear that he should not have been in the game at that point. Despite what Shanahan cronies would like to think, this was not a freak injury.
Ignorance and smug arrogance lead to Shanahan keeping a clearly hobbled Robert Griffin III in the game and eventually lead to an injury that might be quite serious.
RGIII was a sprain grade away from being ruled out for the entire season, as the injury he suffered against the Ravens was a grade lower than the sprain suffered by Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson. The prognosis on Jackson’s recovery was four weeks at the minimum, but now that we see how Shanahan is willing to throw his quarterback out in front of the firing squad, had Griffin III suffered that injury, he may have been forced to play anyways.
That same knee was re-injured on Sunday night and now the question is how serious is this one? RGIII has already suffered two debilitating injuries in his rookie season and Shanahan showed absolutely no remorse in sending him out to the dogs on Sunday. Already we have to ask ourselves if Griffin III is the next Mickey Mantle, where an injury holds him back from his truest potential for greatness.
And that’s best case scenario, as the worst case is Griffin III becomes just another cast away example of what happens when talented players lose the injury battle in their careers.
Some are defending Shanahan, but it was inexcusable to keep Griffin III in the game despite the one score aspect of the game at that point. The Redskins were considering giving Shanahan an extension prior to the game, but they might want to put the brakes on that idea and seriously reconsider if they can let a tyrant run their franchise quarterback into the ground.