Washington Redskins Mishandled Robert Griffin III Situation in Playoffs

By Mike Atkinson
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins mishandled rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III tonight in the first round of the 2012-2013 NFL playoffs.

There is not a doubt in my mind that the Redskins handled this situation in the worst way possible. I cannot say enough about how disappointed I am in coach Mike Shanahan’s decision to not only play RGIII from the beginning of this game, but to continue to place his pride and desire to win over the health of the 21 year old rookie.

Even if Griffin III told Shanahan to play him, as a coach, it is Shanahan’s responsibility to recognize his quarterback’s inability to defend himself.

In the second quarter, Griffin threw a pass where he fell on his back on the sideline. He took his helmet off, rolled over and laid face down on the sideline for a few seconds before getting up and limping heavily back to the line of scrimmage for the next play.

He could barely make it back to the line. Then on the next play, he lobbed a touchdown pass, and was then hit 10 seconds late by Seattle Seahawks rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin in one of the most unsportsmanlike plays I have seen all year. The penalty was called, but at what expense? 15 yards on the kickoff, which guarantees a touchback, considering 99 percent of kickoffs result in that manner anyway. I guarantee the hit on RGIII did more damage than that 15 yard penalty.

After this, RGIII’s night should have been over, without question. I don’t care if he gives the team a better chance to win or not. He tore his ACL in college once already, and was clearly unfit to return to this game.

We then watched RGIII continue to take abuse all game, wincing and limping after every hit, yet he was sent back out to take control of the team.

Sure enough, late in the game RGIII finally collapsed and laid motionless in the middle of the field.

This is where it became about more than football for the Redskins organization. I want to know why it took a 21 year old getting beaten and bruised to the point where he was unable to lift himself off of the field. RGIII has done everything the organization has asked of him and did not deserve the abuse he took tonight.

Aside from losing RGIII, the Redskins cost themselves the game, and possibly did more damage to its franchise, depending on how long he is out for. Hopefully he can bounce back soon.

If Kirk Cousins entered the game when the score was 14-13, he would have given the Redskins a much better chance to win. How do you think he took this whole situation anyway? Shanahan is showing Cousins that he trusts a one-legged RGIII at about 40 percent over a 100 percent healthy Cousins.

It’s time for society to realize that football is only a game. The health of any player, particularly a 21 year old rookie, is much more important than winning a game.

Mike Shanahan valued winning one playoff game over the career and longevity of his superstar.

Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeAtkinsonRS or visit his Rant Sports Author Page.


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