Last Sunday, Robert Griffin III suffered an ACL tear when a lot of people thought he shouldn’t have been in the game. Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan has come under heavy scrutiny for his decision to leave a visibly hobbled RGIII in the game, but while fans and analysts have a gripe with the decision the man in charge of the NFL sees nothing wrong with it.
Roger Goodell said in an interview that he has no problem with how the RGIII situation was handled by the Redskins.
“Now, people can argue whether it was the wrong decision, but it was a medical decision and that’s what we want it to be,” Goodell said. “Will we make further changes? Yeah, I would anticipate we will. We’ll always look at that and try to see what else we can do to make sure the proper medical attention is being given, that they make the best medical evaluation and it’s their determination to make.”
The ‘changes’ Goodell might be referring to is how much input the medical advisors for teams really have. Dr. James Andrews serves as such an advisor for the Redskins and it was noted last week that he hadn’t given Washington his blessing to start RGIII dating back to his Week 17 return. Shanahan started Griffin III anyways, and now that he’s been seriously injured a lot of questions are being asked about Dr. Andrews decision and why it wasn’t made part of Shanahan’s decision to start Griffin III.
So it’s kind of ironic that Goodell is saying with a straight face that RGIII starting was a medical decision. However, Goodell continued to talk out of both sides of his mouth, making sure that any answer his gives on player safety remains as ambiguous as possible.
“When you say independent, all these doctors work for other institutions,” he said. “And they’re well-respected and the medical care in the NFL is outstanding. And if they have a concussion, they have to see an independent neurologist before they’re cleared to play.
Nevertheless, Goodell is currently in the process of doing some serious kissing up to the players after he tarnished the relationship this season.
But while he’s trying to act in what the player’s feel is their best interest, he’s drawing the scorn of Redskins fans everywhere for defending the decision to allow RGIII to tear his ACL and put the start of next season in jeopardy. With recent news the Junior Seau suffered from CTE, the NFL will only come under more and more scrutiny when it comes to player safety and they will continue to get bombarded with lawsuits from players they’ve failed to look out for.