The decision as to whether or not Robert Griffin III will play on Sunday against the Browns is not in his hands. Nor is it in the hands of the Redskins’ guru of all things football related, Mike Shanahan. Dan Snyder will not be asked for his opinion either.
Albert Breer of the NFL Network reported that the team doctor will make the call, which is exactly the way it should be.
Breer goes on to say that the Redskins are willing to let the dynamic rookie quarerback play if he is at less than 100 percent after suffering a Grade 1 strain of the lateral collateral ligament on his right knee last Sunday against the Ravens. However, they do not want him to play if the doctor determines that Griffin would risk further injury to the LCL.
The possibility that Griffin will play at less than full speed raises questions about how the Redskins will conduct their offense. If he can’t run and cut well enough to run the Pistol and read option offense, staples of the Redskins scheme, that will not only take those plays out of the mix but, as Kyle Shanahan said on Thursday, all of the plays that are set up by Griffin’s speed and elusiveness.
However, that doesn’t mean that Griffin can’t be effective if he is missing some of his mobility. He is an accurate passer with a powerful arm who can work from the pocket. In addition, running back Alfred Morris has rushed for over 1200 yards so he can set up favorable second-and third-down situations. The threat of Morris also helps open up the passing game with play action fakes.
Griffin wore a brace at practice this week so it is logical to assume that he will wear one if he does play. That alone will lessen the threat of reinjuring the knee but nothing short of a seat on the sideline will ensure that there won’t be a setback.
It stands to reason that the doctor will have a petty good idea of RG3’s status by sometime this evening—after all, only so much healing can occur overnight—but we might not hear anything until some point tomorrow morning.
Griffin has looked reasonably healthy all week in the portion of practice that is open to reporters. However, that does not include the more strenuous team drills and, according to a report by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, Griffin did not participate in any of those during the week.