In my recent column regarding Robert Griffin III, I argued the Washington Redskins would be wise to exercise greater caution with the 23 year-old quarterback, who is coming off reconstructive knee surgery. Consider this a follow up.
Here I will go a step further and argue that caution regarding Griffin will not only be in the team’s long-term interest but potentially increase the team’s chances of success in 2013 as well.
With regards to the long view, the argument is easy. Exercising caution with Griffin (I advocated bringing him back after the Week 5 bye, which would extend his recovery six weeks) would allow a longer recovery, lessening the risk he is injured again playing on a weak knee. Of course, Griffin suffered two torn knee ligaments playing on hobbled knee in last season’s NFC Wild Card playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
As for the short term, the potential downside is likewise clear: the Redskins’ best quarterback and most dynamic player doesn’t play, lessening the team’s chances for victory.
But don’t forget this: Griffin not playing in September makes it more likely he’s healthy in December and January. Remember, last season Griffin wore down late in the year. Yes, the Redskins won the NFC East and made the playoffs for the first time since 2007. However,they did so without a 100% Griffin. And the chances of the Redskins going deep in the playoffs is probably non-existent without a healthy Griffin.
If the ultimate goal is make a run in December, January and even February, a healthy Griffin is a must. Rushing him back in September not only potentially jeopardizes his long-term health, but short-term as well.
So, those who continue to insist that a cautious approach with Griffin is in the team’s long-term interest, are correct. However, even they are missing an ancillary benefit to resting Griffin: it may benefit the short-term as well.