If you were considering Robert Griffin III as your fantasy football playoff challenge quarterback, you need to consider the most recent development. The news out of Washington Redskins camp has been positive all week regarding Griffin’s injured knee. That is, until today when word surfaced that Doctor James Andrews never cleared Griffin for action. Coach Mike Shanahan had reported that Andrews was on the sideline when the injury occurred in Week 15 and gave his blessing for Griffin to return to the field.
The morning of Washington’s wild card matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, USA Today reported that Andrews was never consulted about the injury and that he is still a “nervous wreck” and “holding my breath” every time Griffin touches the ball.
On Tuesday, Shanahan reiterated that Griffin was 100% ready for action with no risk of reinjuring his LCL.
We now have to look at Griffin’s past two performances with a critical eye. He appeared to be comfortable throwing against the Philadelphia Eagles but was hesitant to run, carrying only two times for four yards compared to his usual eight runs per game. It wasn’t until Week 17 that Griffin returned to his normal self on the ground, rushing six times for 63 yards.
Washington went with a heavy dose of the run in their crucial playoff clinching win against the Dallas Cowboys. Griffin completed only half of his 18 attempts for just 100 yards. The worrisome thing about his post-injury stats is that Griffin only looked comfortable throwing against the uninspired 32nd ranked Philadelphia secondary and their mediocre pass rush. However, when Washington chose not to overexpose Griffin to the threat of DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer who both tallied double-digit sacks and his passing numbers struggled.
Sunday, Griffin will face the top secondary but just an average pass rush against Seattle with his knee brace still intact. I fully expect the their passing attack to struggle as a whole against this defense with Washington knowing that the game must be on the ground.
We will take Griffin’s Week 17 rushing performance as an indication that he is ready to go all in on Sunday. Griffin is a leader and knows that he is vital to Washington’s chances to win. Let’s hope that the exciting young rookie doesn’t get punished his hero behavior.