Before last weekend’s game, I wrote that Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III should be shut down for the remainder of the season due to health reasons. He’s gotten beat up this season, and forcing him to play only puts him at risk for further injury and puts the future of the franchise in jeopardy.
In a Monday afternoon press conference, head coach Mike Shanahan told reporters that if he did decided to shutdown Griffin, it would be for health reasons. He brought up the fact that Griffin has been sacked 26 times in the past three games. There’s no denying the brutal beating that he’s has taken all season long.
From a future standpoint, I’m all for this move. Griffin appears to be the franchise quarterback of the Redskins at this point. You may have sensed a hint of uncertainty in the previous sentence, and you’d be correct. What if Kirk Cousins performs well? Does he make a case for the starting job? That’s a story for another time.
Griffin wasn’t able to undergo a full offseason last year. He immediately went into surgery and rehab, and wasn’t able to work on his skill set as a quarterback. It’s not a stretch to say that this is why he struggled as a passer this season. He wasn’t given ample time — or any time — to perfect his craft.
That’s why it’s so important for him to be healthy heading into the offseason. Teams slot time into their offseason schedule to give players a chance to heal, but not the 6-8 months that Griffin needed. Letting him rest now so he can hit the ground running in the offseason is a great course of action.
In six months, the Redskins will begin OTAs, something Griffin missed out on due to his knee surgery. Aside from working by himself and with teammates on the side, that will be the first time that he can come in and really work on his craft. It’s important that he’s ready to go at 100 percent for OTAs.
While it seems like an uncomfortable situation, benching Griffin now is best for the future of the franchise. People are putting way too much stock in the word “benching.” Rather than saying that, think of it as Shanahan protecting him as well as the future of the Redskins.