Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins quarterback, and his coach Mike Shanahan revealed why the starting QB played on an injured knee well into the fourth quarter of the NFC wild-card game against Seattle against his doctor's orders.
Dr. James Andrews, the sports surgeon who served as a Redskins game-day physician, told USA Today that he did not clear Griffin to play during the week 15 game against the Baltimore Ravens that followed a seemingly serious knee injury this season. Griffin has been nursing a knee injury for the past few weeks which seemed to cause him problems in the first quarter against the Seahawks when it buckled on Sunday.
However, the starting QB kept playing up until the fourth quarter of the game when he fell to the ground in pain and had to limp off the field and head to the locker room. However, Andrews told USA Today that the QB was still in recovery and he was nervous to let him play with only a knee brace to nurse his injury.
"I've been a nervous wreck letting him come back as quick as he has. He's doing a lot better this week, but he's still recovering and I'm holding my breath because of it," Andrews said before Griffin entered the field on Sunday. "He passed all the tests and all the functional things we do, but it's been a trying moment for me, to be honest with you."
Ultimately, Griffin tweaked his knee during multiple times of the game but decided to play until late in the fourth quarter. After the Redskins' loss, he admitted that he put himself in harm's way by continuing to play injured.
"I did put myself at more risk being out there," Griffin admitted after the game. "But every time you step on the football field between those lines you're putting your life, your career [and] every single ligament in your body in jeopardy."
Various fans and media outlets expressed upset about Redskins head coach Shanahan decision to continue playing the rookie QB up until late in the fourth quarter.
Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver, expressed his opinion on Twitter.
"Felt bad for RG3 today," White tweeted. "That did not look good. [I] think the skins should've took him out after being up 14 nothing [sic]."
Another NFL fan echoed the same sentiments.
"Dr. Andrews never authorized RGIII to play and Shanahan never asked him," the person tweeted. "This is 100 percent on Shanahan."
Still, Shanahan defended his decision to stick with his starting QB despite his injuries.
"I talked to Robert and he said to me, 'Coach, there's a difference between being injured and being hurt.' He said, 'I can guarantee I'm hurt right now but give me the chance to win this football game because I guarantee I'm not injured,'" Shanahan told the press after the game. "That was enough for me."