WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Capitals’ center Brooks Laich, who says he’s “100%” after giving everyone a good injury scare on the first day of training camp, lent his first-hand account Thursday to how a knee brace can limit an athlete’s mobility, in relation to Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Laich, in an interview with the Junkies on 106.7 The Fan, harkened back to when he was forced to wear a brace during games for a three-month stretch two years ago.
“I should have been out, but I played through it with a brace, and it’s just, it’s different guys.” Laich said of his 2011-2012 knee injury. “It’s just absolutely different.”
“When you’re used to making cuts, and you know, he’s a guy, and I work on my skating on the ice, he’s a guy that on the field, he wants to go anywhere, any given time,” he continued. “He doesn’t run routes, he wants to be able to cut back, he wants to be, he is completely free when he runs and when you put that brace on, same as when you put it on a knee on the ice, it’s just limiting.”
After losses to the Eagles and Packers this season, RGIII has rushed for 25 yards and no touchdowns, while showing a sluggish shell of his former mobile self in the pocket.
By this point last season, he had already rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns, and nimbly danced around defenders to escape the pocket and turn the ball upfield.
“You just can’t do the same things you’re used to doing,” Laich said. “And then, outside of that, you’re also, because you have the brace on, you’re also worried about contact, you know? I can take the contact, but can I really lean into it? Can I, if somebody is coming to hit him, can he really lean back into that guy, or is the knee going to give out a little bit? You always have that in the back of your mind. You can’t get rid of it.
Laich was so frustrated by how much his own knee brace limited his motion, he said he told trainers at the end of the season in which he injured his knee, “I’m taking this brace out to my backyard and burning it.”
“But he’ll get used to it,” Laich added. “But it takes some time.”
Operation Patience it is.