Next-day stories on Seahawks/Redskins …
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LANDOVER, Md. – Washington-area talk radio was still abuzz Monday morning about RG3.
That is, whether Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan was wrong for allowing his prized rookie quarterback to continue playing, long after he’d aggravated his serious right-knee injury.
Robert Griffin III had an MRI after the game. On Monday Shanahan said the full extent of Griffin’s knee injury was “unknown.”
Old ACL and LCL injuries can distort MRI results, Shanahan said, so Griffin will see Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday for an in-depth evaluation. He’s arguably North America’s foremost sports-injury surgeon.
If Griffin suffered a much more serious injury – an ACL tear, for instance – this issue won’t go away soon.
“When I do know the extent of the injury, I’ll let you know,” Shanahan said.
At his post-game news conference on Sunday, I asked Shanahan whether by the time his star QB had grotesquely bent his weak knee sideways in the fourth quarter, and collapsed to the FedEx Field grass, there was any need at that point for anybody to make a call on pulling him.
“If you didn’t pull him out then, then yeah, you should get fired,” Shanahan said.
Of course, Shanahan answered many more questions at Monday’s season-closing news conference about his reasoning for keeping Griffin in.
“Robert’s our franchise quarterback,” Shanahan said. “I’m not going to take a chance on his career to win a game. But I also know that when you’ve got belief in a guy, and you feel that he can play at a certain level, and the doctor’s tellin’ ya that he’s OK to go in, then you’ve got to do what you think is right.
“If I didn’t think it was right, he wouldn’t have been in there.”
The debate rages as to whether that moment ought to have occurred earlier in the game – and if so, when?
After RG3 first came up hobbling late in the first quarter?
Or in the third quarter when Griffin ran – well, hobble-jogged – for a nine-yard gain that was almost as painful to watch as it must have been for Griffin to execute.
Email me with your view: firstname.lastname@example.org
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SEAHAWKS DARED INJURED GRIFFIN TO RUN IT
LANDOVER, Md. – Seattle Seahawks defenders weren’t afraid of the running threat posed by a gimpy Robert Griffin III.
They actually wanted him to run it; were even daring him to do so.
And that was before Griffin aggravated his injured right knee!
“We knew from watching film of Washington-Dallas that this guy wasn’t 100%,” Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright told me after Seattle’s 24-14 defeat of the Washington Redskins on Sunday night.
“So our plan was, especially on the option, to take the running back away – to make sure RG3 pulls it (and runs it himself).
“We practised that all week. Mm-hmmm. We knew it.”
Griffin, Washington’s phenom rookie quarterback, entered the game with a month-old sprain of the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee, which caused him to miss part of one game and all of another. Griffin aggravated the injury on the drive that gave the Redskins a 14-0 first-quarter lead, and he was never the same player thereafter.
Late in the game, Griffin’s knee bent sideways – horrifically sideways – after an errant snap and, finally – mercifully – he was done for the day.
Seattle’s bold defensive plan sure wasn’t working early on.
It wasn’t because Griffin was burning them on the ground. Rather, the Seahawks couldn’t stop powerful rookie Redskins running back Alfred Morris, and that set up successful passes off run fakes.
“It was very simple – they just ran right at us, and ran right over us for a while,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said.
Added Wright: “I admit, the first series we were out of whack – that whole quarter, actually. We calmed guys down and we just said, ‘Let’s do what we do.’”
Rookie Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner elaborated.
“Sometimes, you get too hyped and you have to settle yourself down,” Wagner said. “I feel like that’s kind of what happened in the first quarter. Everybody came out excited – a little bit too excited. Everybody wanted to make a play in this big-time game. Once we got settled down, we started dominating.”
After gaining 134 yards on their opening TD drives, the Redskins offence became like Griffin himself – it could barely move. The Skins gained only 69 more yards, on 34 plays, and never once threatened to score again.
“(That) is ridiculously good defence,” a euphoric Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said.
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SEAHAWKS LOSE STAR PASS RUSHER:
LANDOVER, Md. – It wasn’t all euphoria in the Seattle Seahawks locker room on Sunday night.
The team’s top pass rusher, defensive end Chris Clemons, went down with a knee injury in Seattle’s 24-14 wild-card playoff defeat of the Washington Redskins.
After the game, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Clemons’ status was unknown.
“Chris hurt his knee and we’ll have to figure it out and get MRI stuff done when we get back home,” Carroll said. “I am concerned about it.”
But reports overnight said the team fears Clemons tore an ACL, as that’s what a preliminary stability test revealed.
Clemons finished ninth in the NFL with 11.5 sacks, and had 22 QB hits. Sub-package pass-rush specialist Bruce Irvin, a rookie, will take his place in the starting lineup Sunday in Atlanta against the Falcons.
“Bruce Irvin did well coming in for him,” Carroll said.