A day after the Washington Redskins' season ended with a 24-14 playoff defeat at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks, the team released the results of a MRI on rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III's right knee. Head coach Mike Shanahan revealed that the extent of RGIII's knee injury was unknown.
Griffin will travel to see Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday for additional testing that will give the team conclusive answers about his injured right knee. Dr. Andrews was on the sidelines with the Redskins on Sunday. He even went onto the field while Griffin was down with the knee injury.
Shanahan added that it would be a "long shot" for RGIII to play in the Pro Bowl.
In one awkward exchange that occurred when asked about RGIII participating in the team's offseason work, Shanahan made a reference to Adrian Peterson's ACL tear last year that left some wondering.
Shanny on if RG3 misses offseason work: "I thought Adrian Peterson did pretty good last year for not being part of the offseason program.''— Don Banks (@DonBanks) January 7, 2013
The head coach also defended the controversial decision to allow Griffin to continue playing in the game. He said that he felt "confident" in the quarterback's ability to play:
Shanahan: "What you have to do is make decisions that you think are the right decisions...You go with what you think is right."— Redskins (@Redskins) January 7, 2013
SB Nation's medical expert Dr. Ali Mohamadi examined the possibilities around RGIII's injury on Monday morning. The most dire circumstance would involve surgery to repair the ligaments in Griffin's right knee, something that RGIII has experienced in the past:
What is most worrisome would be the ACL, which Griffin previously tore as a sophomore at Baylor requiring complete reconstructive surgery. This is a particular concern as we await results of Griffin's MRI, as severe LCL (or MCL) injuries are frequently associated with ACL injuries as well. Although this season Adrian Peterson proved that athletes can return to top form as quickly as nine months following complete reconstruction of the ACL -- and MCL, in Peterson's case -- the recovery time from an ACL tear is often longer than this and would put Griffin in serious jeopardy of missing the start of the 2013 season.
Of course, that's the more extreme scenario. Dr. Mohamadi also noted several instances of minor grade sprains that would merely require rest and rehabilitation versus going under the knife.
Griffin originally suffered a sprained LCL during Washington's Week 14 win over the Baltimore Ravens. After continuing for four plays, he sat out the remainder of that game and missed the Redskins' Week 15 victory over the Cleveland Browns. He returned the following week against the Philadelphia Eagles, but was noticeably hobbled.
There has been some controversy surrounding Griffin's relatively quick return from the knee injury, as Dr. James Andrews said he didn't clear the quarterback to continue after being injured against the Ravens. Washington head coach Mike Shanahan said he was given the go-ahead from Andrews to keep Griffin in the game:
"(Griffin) didn't even let us look at him," Andrews said. "He came off the field, walked through the sidelines, circled back through the players and took off back to the field. It wasn't our opinion. We didn't even get to touch him or talk to him. Scared the hell out of me."
According to Shanahan, that's not how the situation played out:
"He's on the sidelines with Dr. Andrews. He had a chance to look at him and he said he could go back in," Shanahan said Dec. 10. "(I said) 'Hey, Dr. Andrews, can Robert go back in?'
'Yeah, he can go back in.'
'Robert, go back in.'
"That was it," Shanahan said.
Griffin re-aggravated the injury early in the Redskins' loss to the Seahawks, and he was clearly hampered for most of the game. For the sake of Griffin's future, many called on Shanahan to remove the rookie and insert backup quarterback Kirk Cousins. In an attempt to fall on a bad snap late against Seattle, Griffin badly twisted the knee and missed the rest of the contest.