Dr. James Andrews, who performed Griffin's knee surgery on Wednesday (Repair of both his ACL and his LCL in his right knee), was very ambiguous regarding the time table of Griffin's return, most likely because of the PR fallout of Griffin's injury itself, and the "he said/she said" regarding Griffin's initial injury in the Baltimore game.
In any case, its a given that no two athletes are alike, and Griffin's return could most definitely fall on how motivated (a non-medical term used by Andrews in his post surgery presser. And certainly a word I would consider "alarming", coming from a doctor with Andrews' credentials) and athletically sick Griffin actually is. And from all accounts based on what we saw leading up to his injury, he's one sick athlete.
However, this is the second major knee surgery for Griffin in less than a four years. And depending on who you talk to or who you read (and there is and has been plenty of it in the last 96 hours), Griffin is looking at at least a 9 month recovery, and probably closer to 12 months. Not to mention the lingering effects of knee injuries in general. (See Kory Lichensteiger, See Tim Hightower)
I would also say, having gone through the PR nightmare that the Shanahans and the Redskins Organization in general went through this week, that you're probably going to see Mike Rizzo 2.0 out at Redskins Park this year. Meaning, regardless of whether its a 9 or 12 months, or whatever it is, you can be assured that the Redskins will be erring on the side of not bringing Griffin back too soon.
So for the sake of this piece, I'm going to wipe out the entire 2013 season for RG3.
I'm also going to present you with a scenario (here comes my contingency, people) in which Kirk Cousins- the guy who won that same game in which Griffin was injured in Baltimore, who then went on the road in Cleveland, and posted the highest passing total for any Redskin QB (him or RG3) all season- has a monster year in 2013. And by monster year, I mean Kirk Cousins goes out in the 2013 campaign and throws for 4,000+ yards, he keeps the turnovers to a minimum, and he leads the Redskins to another 10-6 or even better yet, an 11-5 record. Now at this point, I think the decision down the road (Griffin or Cousins) will become even more complicated if the Redskins were to win at least one playoff game. (In fact, an NFC Championship Game appearance, and it will be "RG Who?" here in the DMV)
My point in a nutshell, is that the scenario of the Redskins having a "good to great" season with Kirk Cousins at the helm next year, is not some fairy tale, pipe dream that guys like Rich Turpin think up; there's a pretty good chance in Shanahan's year 4, with guys like Alfred Morris, Pierre Garcon, a kicker who can actually consistently make field goals, that Griffin or no Griffin- the Redskins are probably going to have a successful campaign.
And I joke when I say 'RG Who?', but take a look in the mirror, people. That includes every fan and media member (including myself), who has opted to weigh in on this subject, all while being emotionally invested in the quest for victories and Super Bowl titles.
Winning is the cure all. Look at the "Sybil" like transformation of the DMV and Fed Ex Field and Redskins' fans everywhere, from the doldrums of 3-6 to the nirvana of a 7 game win streak, culminating with the beat down of the hated Cowboys to win the NFC East for the first time in 13 years.
Mike Shanahan is a great coach in my opinion, but he's a bit tone deaf when it comes to his perception of himself by the media, fans, etc. Everyone, myself included, wanted him run out of town when in his year 3, he stood up at the post game presser at 3-6 and insinuated that he and his staff were already in the evaluation period. Fast forward 7 weeks, and Mike Shanahan is back to being a genius and there was even talk of granting him a contract extension. Now lets jump into the first week of January, throw in a first round playoff loss and the health/future of your franchise quarterback at stake, and all of the sudden Mike Shanahan is back to being Dr. Evil.
That's pretty brutal. And that's one wild 8 weeks, people- the highs and lows of winning and losing, and how we ultimately eat our own. Based on the feeding frenzy and appetite for winning here in DC, especially for the Redskins, I just think its a bit naive to automatically assume (right now, Jan. 2013) that even if Cousins comes out and has a great year next year, that the general consensus among fans, media, and the organization is going to be to just trade him, and go back to the guy who was knocked out of 3 different games this past season.
Because IF RG3 misses the entire 2013 campaign, and IF Cousins steps up to the plate and delivers something similar to what I've described here, you can spare me the "you're out of your f**king mind, Yack" when I suggest that Griffin could be done here in DC. You've just shown your mental hand over the last 8 weeks as to how quickly one can turn when it comes to winning and losing, and RG3 will be no exception in the hearts and minds of Redskins fans, and a Redskins organization that will have a huge dilemma on their hands.
Do you go back to Griffin- the guy who has now had two major reconstructive knee surgeries, and who is beginning to look like a guy who is a bit fragile, or do you keep Kirk Cousins, your conventional pocket passer, who just threw for over 4,000 yards and led you to at least one post season victory? They're both young and talented, they'll both have tremendous trade value, and if the 2013 season plays out anything close to what I've described, the decision on who to keep might not be as cut and dry as most Redskins' fans think.
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