Robert Griffin III surprised onlookers today by throwing and running with other recovering teammates during OTA's on Thursday.
But even though he is just four and a half months removed from ACL surgery, maybe this doesn't come as a surprise. What was, however, was him emotionally recounting the details of his surgery during a press conference after showcasing his progress. When asked about the most difficult part of the healing process, he recalled the very beginning:
"The tough part about it honestly, was going into surgery not knowing what was wrong. I know I was going to have to get my LCL repaired, and looking at the MRIs and everything, we couldn’t really tell if my ACL needed to be repaired. I’ve been through this before so I know if you have a patellar tendon graft on the same knee, you can't get it from the same knee. So I knew when I got put to sleep if I woke up and felt my left knee, that I had surgery on my ACL.
So I woke up, the nurse didn’t know I was up, and I felt my left leg and I went back to sleep because I didn’t want to deal with it at that time. And it’s tough for me to talk about it. It’s one of the things I get emotional about because it was tough at that time.
I woke back up, I told everyone who was in that room with me, and it’s tough. Yeah, I cried, real men cry, it doesn’t matter. And I moved on. As soon as we finished our little cry festival, I put the date of the first week into my phone and that was my goal.
Since then, the doctors have tried to keep me down and keep me from doing so many things, and I appreciate that from them because that’s what they're supposed to do, while at the same time I’m supposed to push through it because that’s what you have to do with an injury like this."
It's clear that Griffin is motivated to get back onto the field, and while that shouldn't come as a surprise, it still somehow does.
Despite commercials that flash "All In For Week One" and proclamations of returning as a better player than ever before, this strikes me as the most glaring evidence of how determined Griffin is from returning better than ever.
Think about it for a second. First, imagine facing the arduous task of rehabilitating a torn ACL twice before your 23rd birthday, in addition to having the backbreaking weight of a franchise on your shoulders.
Then, envision having world-class speed one day, and then the next having to need assistance moving around. All of that would be plenty enough to discourage the average person to the point of putting him or her for the count.
And still, the first thing Griffin did upon coming to terms with his situation was put a star next to opening weekend in his calendar and motivate himself that. To be running around and throwing at this point, just shy of five months after his surgery, shows that "motivated" may be too weak of a word to describe him.