The reaction to the latest adidas ad featuring Robert Griffin III has Twitter, talk radio and message boards in a tizzy. Griffin narrates the ad, which is about “blowing up” last season and starting from scratch. At the end of the 30-second spot there is Griffin with the words “all in for week 1”.
The ending has caused a near panic among many Redskins fans who think that the ad will somehow place undue pressure on Griffin to rush his rehab in order to be available for season opener, possibly reinjuring himself in the process.
Apparently the concerns hit Twitter to the extent that Griffin sent out two tweets to assure the masses that he would not “compromise” his career by playing too soon. That did little to allay the fears that Griffin is rushing back.
Calm down. It’s a commercial, folks.
RG3 has set a goal of being ready for the season opener. He is going to work to be ready to start earning his paycheck. We know enough about him to know that he has put pressure on himself to achieve his goal. His drive is one reason why the Redskins picked him and one reason why the fans love him.
But the Redskins also traded away multiple first-round draft picks to get him because he is smart. Does anyone really think that he would get to early September with his knee still not feeling right and think to himself, “I should probably wait a few more weeks before putting the pads on. But I made that Week 1 commercial back in February, I’d better get out on the field.”
This and Adam Schefter’s tweet from last week saying that the Redskins think Griffin has “a legitimate chance to start on opening day” has brought out this theory that if Griffin does start opening day it will be because he was pushed to do so by himself or the organization or both. In the minds of some, if Griffin does start opening day, which falls almost exactly eight months after his Jan. 6 reconstructive surgery, it will by definition be too soon.
An eight-month rehab from his injury is highly ambitious but, as Adrian Peterson demonstrated, realistic. Yes, Peterson did not have issues with ligaments other than his ACL and it was his first ACL repair. Griffin tore the same ACL at Baylor in 2009 and he also suffered LCL damage. But that doesn’t necessarily preclude him being ready in eight months.
And, of course, the fact that Peterson was back quickly does not mean that it’s assured that Griffin will be back to start the season. Different players, different injuries, different rates of rehab.
The bottom line is that he’ll be ready when he’s ready. And when he is ready and cleared to play by doctors he will get on the field and play. He won’t rest a few more weeks just to make some fans and members of the media happy. And he won’t play sooner than that because of pressure from himself, the organization, or, especially, because he did an “all in for week 1” ad for adidas in February.