Photo: Fox Sports
Everyone is blaming Redskins coach Mike Shanahan for leaving Robert Griffin III in the game with a knee injury yesterday against the Seahawks.The basic criticism: RGIII was never going to voluntarily come out of the game, so Shanahan needed to protect him from himself.
After the game, Shanahan said RGIII convinced him he should be out there. From the AP:
“He said, ‘Hey, trust me. I want to be in there, and I deserve to be in there.’ I couldn’t disagree with him.”
That doesn’t sound too convincing.
But according to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, RGIII’s argument for staying in the game was a little bolder than that:
“Coach Mike Shanahan asked Griffin [in the first quarter], and again at halftime, about his knee, and both times Griffin insisted he was OK. ‘I guarantee I’m not injured,’ Griffin told Shanahan at the half.”
In the NFL there’s a myth that there’s a difference between “hurt” and “injured.” Playing “hurt” is encouraged, it’s just a matter of pain tolerance, while playing “injured” is reckless.
It sounds like RGIII’s argument centered on this distinction.
Here’s the thing though: Regardless of whether he was hurt or injured or whatever, he was undoubtedly hurting his team. He couldn’t run, and he couldn’t plant off his back foot — causing a number of balls to sail high and diminishing his typically pinpoint accuracy.
Clearly Shanahan should have pulled him from the game. But Griffin denying his own injury didn’t help matters either.
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