Doctor Denies Clearing RG3 for Game that Reinjures QB’s Knee

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If you watched the Redskins game on Sunday, chances are you grimaced when rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III injured his knee. Replays of the hit showed Griffin’s knee turning in an unnatural direction.

It was the second knee injury in less than a month for RG3, who first injured it on Dec. 9 in a game with the Baltimore Ravens. In a fourth-quarter collision, Griffin went down and suffered a sprained lateral collateral ligament. He limped off the field for one play but hobbled back on to endure four more plays before removing himself from the game.

After Griffin re-injured his knee on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, coach Mike Shanahan was asked why he allowed him to return to the playing field.

Then began the game of who-said-what.

Shanahan said he and Griffin were given the go-ahead to play by Dr. James Andrews, a renowned orthopedic surgeon — the same knee specialist responsible for Adrian Peterson’s miraculous return to health in 2012, according to Yahoo. However, Andrews denied that. According to USA Today, Andrews said he never cleared him to play, adding that he never even examined him.

“(Griffin) didn’t even let us look at him,” Andrews said. “He came off the field, walked through the sidelines, circled back through the players and took off back to the field. It wasn’t our opinion. We didn’t even get to touch him or talk to him. Scared the hell out of me.”

Shanahan described the incident to reporters differently.

“He’s on the sidelines with Dr. Andrews,” Shanahan said. “He had a chance to look at him and he said he could go back in. (I said) ‘Hey, Dr. Andrews, can Robert go back in?'”

Shanahan proceeded to tell reporters that Andrews responded in the affirmative. But Andrews said that’s not what happened and expressed his concerns about Griffin’s health.

This situation is another example of increased scrutiny of players and coaches as the stakes get higher.

In 2011 NFL fans questioned Jay Cutler’s toughness when he pulled himself out of the NFC Championship between Chicago and Green Bay after sustaining a sprained MCL. Public outcry was hushed only after his injury was deemed to be significant by Chicago’s training staff. While Griffin III’s toughness wasn’t called into question, Shanahan’s decision to play him is stirring up controversy, it seems that NFL fans have to decry someone when a star player gets injured.

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