The Washington Redskins are out of the playoffs, but certainly not out of the news.
Robert Griffin III was clearly not himself against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, barely able to move around on an injured knee. Yet, head coach Mike Shanahan kept him in the game until late in the fourth quarter, when Griffin's knee went in an unnatural direction, causing him to leave the contest permanently.
Peter King of SI.com certainly has a few opinions on the matter, saying blame can be passed around to a few different people.
I do not -- do not -- blame Shanahan entirely here. Even if there's a frosty relationship between noted team orthopedist James Andrews and Shanahan, Andrews is on the staff, at least in part, because he's the foremost expert on knees in the country. He should have the power to speak up when he sees something obviously wrong with the franchise quarterback. And Griffin is not blameless here either. He's an adult. If he swears over and over he's fine, the coach has to listen to that and take that into account. "I wasn't lying,'' said Griffin. "I was able to go out and play, period."
Sam Gardner of FOX Sports isn't nearly as understanding towards Shanahan, putting the issue squarely at his feet.
If Redskins coach Mike Shanahan had any good sense about him, he’d have taken Griffin, who first sprained his right LCL on Dec. 9 against Baltimore, out of the game late in the first quarter, the moment he came limping back from the sideline after his knee buckled while planting to throw a pass. At worst, Shanahan should have stripped him of his helmet at the half, following a quarter of startling ineptitude with a visibly hobbled Griffin at the helm.
Over at CBS Sports, Mike Freeman also points the finger at Shanahan, who failed to protect his star quarterback in a pivotal moment.
This was an easy test to pass yet Shanahan failed miserably. Washington lost to Seattle, 24-14, for one reason and one reason only: the complete mismanagement of Griffin by Shanahan. Griffin should have been benched at halftime (at the latest), and the fact Shanahan didn't do it was terrible judgment.
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports wonders what Shanahan was thinking keep his franchise in a game, even in a contest of great magnitude.
The entire ordeal was painful to watch and had many wondering if Griffin III was being unduly risked for injury and whether Shanahan was pressing for a playoff victory while putting the health and future of his star rookie at risk. This was especially questionable because Cousins was terrific in a supporting role during the regular season.
Washington sent Griffin for an MRI on his knee, with the results expected Monday.