Mike Shanahan Will Be in Hot Water for Leaving Robert Griffin III In NFC Playoff Game

Geoff Burke- USA TODAY Sports

Sunday’s NFC Wildcard game between the Washington Redskins and the Seattle Seahawks featured two of the premier rookie quarterbacks in the NFL, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson. It was set up with the focus on the two QB’s but after the first quarter it was apparent that the game would soon focus on RG III and his injured knee.

Even after throwing two TDs in the first quarter, Griffin never looked fully comfortable and was favoring his injured right knee on practically every play. Although it was apparent that his knee was badly injured, doctors must have cleared him and Griffin stayed in the ballgame.

It wasn’t until midway through the fourth quarter that everyone’s biggest fear was realized as Griffin’s knee finally gave out as he tried to plant and pick up a poor, low snap. Griffin was laboring on it for more than three quarters, it finally gave out and it didn’t look pretty.

How Robert Griffin was able to stay in the game is a question that will be a hot topic in the next few days and it will likely put the Redskins’ head coach Mike Shanahan in hot water.

Let me preface this argument by saying that players will be players and they don’t like to come out of the game, even if they are dinged up. However, that’s where the coaching staff and training staff are supposed to come in and put the athlete’s desire to bed. In this particular case, Robert Griffin should have been pulled from this game after he was severely limping in the first quarter. Kirk Cousins should have replaced him and that should have been that.

But here we are and now Griffin’s knee may be an issue for year’s to come. It’s not clear how bad he injured his knee but from the replay’s it did not look good. On top of it all, a story came out this morning concerning Dr. James Andrews and his clearing of Griffin to re-enter the Ravens game a few weeks ago.

Shanahan reportedly stated that Dr. Andrew’s cleared Griffin to come back into the game despite the gruesome looking injury. Andrew’s refuted Shanahan’s story saying that he never even looked at Griffin on the sidelines and never spoke with the coach concerning the situation. Andrew’s went on to say that he was nervous about RG III’s knee going into the Wildcard game, hoping that it would not be injured further.

So, should Shanahan be under fire for keeping Griffin in Sunday’s game? It’s unclear who cleared him to go back into the game but someone has to be held accountable and it will likely fall squarely on the head coach.

Is it fair for Shanahan to take all the blame? Maybe not, because Griffin wanted to stay in the game, but Shanahan should have vetoed his desire and pulled him for safety reasons.

Agree, disagree? Let us know in the comments section below.

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David LaRose is one of the featured College Football and Basketball writers for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Facebook page


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