For a team that guards injury information with its life, the Washington Redskins certainly are talking a lot about Robert Griffin III.
Head coach Mike Shanahan again made headlines over the weekend when he proclaimed Griffin, the face and heart of the franchise, would set a record for the fastest recovery from reconstructive knee surgery, presumably in the history of man.
His comments come just weeks after Griffin stirred speculation he was putting at least partial blame for his injury on Shanahan and Dr. James Andrews.
“I know where my responsibility is within the dilemma that led to me having surgery to repair my knee and all parties involved know their responsibilities as well,” Griffin said at the time.
Preceding those words was perhaps Griffin’s most important comment of all — he would try everything in his power to be ready for Week 1, but would not put his career at risk to do so.
Which makes Shanahan’s latest statement so puzzling. Although the coach did not set a specific timetable for Griffin’s recovery, his words do put increasing pressure on the already burdened quarterback.
“He’s over at the facility, rehabbing all of the time. He’ll set a record for coming back because that’s how hard he works,” Shanahan said on NFL Network.
If you ask Lurch of the Sports Junkies, enough is enough. It’s time to shut up and let Griffin rehabilitate his knee in private.
“I’m just tired of seeing all these stories about when he returns,” Lurch said. “He returns when he returns, people. That’s when he returns. If it’s in Week One, that’s fine. . . I mean, all these predictions are crazy.”
Rushing back or not, the bigger question looming is whether Griffin will ever be 100 percent healthy again after having undergone a second complete knee reconstruction. Repeated tears to ligaments cast doubt on the shifty-legged quarterback can ever to return to the same form that led to an award-winning rookie season.
“I don’t think he ever will be,” said E.B. “It’s his second knee surgery on the same knee. I think he’ll be close and he’ll be great. But I don’t think he’s ever going to be a hundred percent. So, are we just going to wait forever?”