I fully understand how and why two parties would not completely agree on something within a football organization. When for example a general manager and head coach disagree on a topic, that is not necessarily an unacceptable situation. On the contrary, having opposing viewpoints can and should be a positive; it should make for a healthy relationship by introducing additional concepts and solutions.
The situation with the Washington Redskins is different, however – and it is not even in regards to the often ridiculed owner, Daniel Snyder.
For the third time in less than three years the team doctor has disputed what Washington’s head coach has had to say about an injury to quarterback Robert Griffin. Besides the fact that this rarely (if ever) happens with an NFL team, what makes this even more unique is the fact that this has now happened with two different head coaches and two different physicians over that relatively short time period.
On December 9, 2012, Griffin limped off the field after taking a big hit delivered by 6’4″ 340-pound Haloti Ngata with time waning in the fourth quarter. Griffin returned to the field just one play later, but lasted just four more plays before he had to remove himself from the game. Questioned afterwards, head coach Mike Shanahan claimed that he had asked Dr. James Andrews if Griffin could go back in, and said that Andrews told him he could. Andrews denied that statement, saying that he “didn’t even get to touch him or talk to him. Scared the hell out of me”. The following day it was revealed that Griffin had suffered a sprained lateral collateral ligament.
(On a side note, Kirk Cousins – who has now supplanted Griffin as the starting quarterback in Washington – eventually led the Skins to a 31-28 overtime victory over the Ravens that day. They won their next three games to win the NFC East and make it to the playoffs for the first time in five years. Since then they have lost 25 of their last 33 games.)
Just before the start of the 2013 season Shanahan spoke about Andrews’ concerns about the knee, but the doctor publicly refuted that statement the next day, saying there were none. Now here we are a year later with a new head coach (Jay Gruden) and one doctor saying Griffin can play, and an independent neurologist concluding that Griffin should be withheld from competition.
And all this is without getting into whether or not Snyder dictates to the head coach and general manager who plays and who stays, or Griffin’s usage (or not) of social media to comment on the team. Dysfunction still reigns supreme in Washington – and that’s without getting into any political opinions.
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Tags: concussion concussion protocol Dan Snyder Dr. James Andrews Injury Mike Shanahan NFC East NFL RGIII Robert Griffin Washington Redskins