Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and former South Carolina Gamecocks running back Marcus Lattimore both suffered multiple ligament tears and knee reconstruction in the past few months after suffering the injuries during their respective seasons. In the past, a torn ACL could keep players — especially those that rely on their cutting and change of direction — out of action for at least a year.
But now, athletes are recovering much faster and returning to the field quicker than anticipated.
Griffin and Lattimore could become the latest athletes to shock the sports world with their speedy recoveries. At least that is what the man who performed their surgeries, Dr. James Andrews, has told ESPN.
Per ESPN’s Stephania Bell:
Dr. Andrews also described RGIII and Lattimore as “superhuman,” in their ability and motivation to recover. Compared to Bo Jackson and AP.
— Stephania Bell (@Stephania_ESPN) March 22, 2013
While it is encouraging to hear these comments from the world renowned orthopedic surgeon, the players need to be careful that they do not rush the players back to action and risk further injury.
Lattimore will be selected in the 2013 NFL Draft and his best case scenario would be to go to a team that could rest him for the year as he continues to recover. Consider it a red shirt year, if you will.
Unfortunately for Griffin, there is a lot more at stake.
The Redskins mortgaged their future in hopes that trading up in last year’s draft for Griffin would pay off. If he does not line up under center for the team early in the season, they risk losing games that could cause them to scramble just with hopes of making the playoffs. At the same time, playing Griffin before he is 100 percent could be even more devastating for the franchise long term
The progress is exciting for both players, but let’s not get too carried away.
Taking the field just one week too early could be enough to end a promising career. Let’s hope the people around these athletes protect them.