Robert Griffin III said he wanted to be back by the first game of the season and he was. Eight months after tearing his ACL, Griffin was the quarterback for the Washington Redskins on opening night against the Philadelphia Eagles. Griffin did not play in a single preseason game and looked very rusty in the loss to the Eagles and has yet to regain his form from his rookie year.
In 2012, Griffin finished the season with 3,200 yards passing, 20 TDs and only five interceptions. He also rushed the ball 120 times for 815 yards and 7 TDs. He led the Redskins to the NFC East division title and a postseason berth. He tore his ACL in that playoff game and was thought to be lost for most of the 2013 season.
Just like Adrian Peterson did the year before, Griffin surprised everyone and declared himself ready during the preseason. The question was would his knee allow him to be the dual threat he was in 2012? So far in 2013, Griffin has 1,746 yards passing with eight TDs and six interceptions. He has also only rushed the ball 38 times for 233 yards and zero TDs. His quarterback rating is down almost 20 points and the Redskins are sitting at 2-5.
On Sunday against Denver, Griffin was sacked three times and hit 13. Griffin threw two INTs, fumbled once and had a QB Rating of 45.4. Late in the game he was hit and went down holding his left knee. After being helped to the sidelines, he was sitting on the trainers table when Washington got the ball back. Griffin jumped off the table and tried to get back in the game that they were losing 38-21 with 5 minutes left. Mike Shanahan did not allow him back in the game and put Kirk Cousins in at QB.
At this point in the season, with the Redskins at 2-5 it may be time for Shanahan to rest Griffin for the remainder of the year. Griffin is the face of the franchise and a player that could lead them to the Super Bowl in the next couple years. It is not worth it to put him back out there and risk him injuring his knee again and perhaps damaging his confidence. Griffin already looks tentative and nervous in the pocket and one more knee injury could take his running ability away. If Mike Shanahan is playing for the future, he will be patient and let Griffin rest, but if he is nervous about his job he will keep him out there and risk the career of his star QB.