Applying Logic to RGIII's Knee

All right folks. It's gotten to the point where I can't stand it any more, so I'm making my first post. I'm going to be going over some simple facts here, and refuting some stupidity. Ready?

Let's get started with a summary of Robert Griffin III's right knee. We know that Robert Griffin first injured his knee back in college, in 2009. He missed the rest of that year, and was granted red-shirt status. After a successful rehabilitation of the knee, he returned in 2010, leading his team to the Texas Bowl. The next year, as we all know, he won the Heisman Trophy.

Griffin went on to be drafted by the Washington Redskins as the second overall pick. He enjoyed a very successful season, until December 9th, against Baltimore, where he suffered a mild, grade 1 lateral collateral ligament sprain in his right knee. After a handful of plays in and out of the line-up, he left the game for good. Griffin missed the next week at Cleveland, but returned on December 23rd, in a win against Philadelphia. In week 17, he led the Redskins over Dallas , and into the playoffs, where a date with the Seattle Seahawks loomed. Four quarters and one shredded knee later, Griffin and the Redskins were done for the season.

After re-constructive surgery, Griffin spent the entire off-season undergoing his second rehabilitation process in 5 years. On July 22nd, he was medically cleared to practice for the first time. Griffin, however, would not play in any of Washington's four preseason games. Despite this, on August 27th, he was cleared to play in week 1 by Dr. James Andrews, the surgeon who operated on his knee during the off-season.

These are the clear facts we have to work with. Now it's on to sketchier things, like observations and opinions. In week 1, against Philadelphia, Griffin was, by most accounts, largely ineffective for the first half, and did not appear to play at the same level he had the season prior. These problems persisted in the second game of the season, against Green Bay. Largely as a result of these struggles, a team founded on strong offence floundered without its biggest strength, and the Redskins lost both games.

This led to calls that Griffin was not yet healthy, or that he was too rusty to play in games yet, or even that he should have played in the preseason. Addressing the first, people have argued that if Griffin couldn't be cleared for any of the preseason games, than he couldn't have been healthy in week 1. Applying that logic, if he wasn't cleared for week 1, he couldn't have been healthy enough to play in week 2. Further, If he wasn't cleared for week 2, he couldn't be healthy for week 3. This line of logic can be followed to the result that Griffin should never play again, based on the fact that during an earlier point of time, he was unable to play, which, excepting a career-ending injury, that this clearly wasn't, is illogical. Griffin must then transition from "unable to play" to "cleared" at some point in time. Judging by the fact that he has indeed been cleared by Dr. Andrews, it becomes evident that his medical status during the preseason had no absolute affect on whether he was healthy in week 1, despite his ineffective play.

This leads to the second argument, that Griffin was and is too rusty to play. If Griffin were to sit out a few weeks, it has been reasoned, then he would get more practice, and be less rusty when he did play. However, facts tell us Griffin has been practising since late July. Furthermore, coaches have been on record saying Griffin's mechanics looked good in practice. However, watching the first two games of the season, Griffin's mechanics have looked poor, and out of sync. Either the coaches are lying, they don't know what good mechanics look like, or, as is much more likely, good mechanics in practice do not equate to good mechanics in live games. Assuming this is the case, live games become necessary to restore Griffin's mechanics to their previous state. Thus, sitting Griffin for a few weeks would not improve his flawed mechanics.

To address the third argument, that, to knock off the rust, Griffin should have played in the preseason, he wasn't medically cleared, and thus shouldn't and couldn't have played without a higher than acceptable risk to his knee.

So, to sum up, if Griffin shouldn't have played earlier than week one, and he also shouldn't have been held out after week one, we reach the obvious conclusion that the only remaining choice was to play him from week one onward.

Thanks for your time,

The Green Monk

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