You’re a Robert Griffin III owner in a keeper or a dynasty league, and you’ve already consumed several inanimate objects as you worry about his knee. That’s a pretty unhealthy nervous reaction. You should get that looked at.
Anyone who’s associated with the Redskins has said he’s going to be fine, and they wouldn’t lie, right? RIGHT? Of course not, simmer, bro. Everything will be fine, as I’m sure after Griffin tore his ACL for the second time in three years in addition to his LCL and suffering meniscus damage, there won’t be a single hiccup in his recovery, and there’s no reason whatsoever to downgrade his value now, or later this year as we head into the summer and training camp looms.
And if you honestly think that, I can only assume you also believe in, I dunno, cloud telekinesis.
Griffin will play during the 2013 season. That is a very, very safe assumption, just like this statement: he has a very legitimate shot to be ready for Week 1. But since his surgery occurred almost exactly eight months prior to opening day in September, making any sort of guarantee for the first week or even the first few weeks is downright foolish. Rich Campbell from the Washington Times is here to tell you why we should all calm down a little.
Campbell Spoke to a potpourri of people who are experienced with Griffin’s surgeries and the recovery work that’s required, and the words said to him were not good words. They weren’t bad words either. Instead, he filled a bucket of water with the cold tap cranked a little further than what most would desire, and he threw it on all of us. I need a blanket.
Take it away, Rich:
It seems ambitious to expect Griffin to be at full strength by Sept. 8, 2013, the opening Sunday of next season. Ambitious, but not impossible. That’s my sense after speaking to three orthopedic surgeons (none of whom have examined Griffin), several players who have had ACL reconstruction surgery and one player who had the same ACL reconstruction revision surgery as Griffin did.
I’ve conveniently bolded the key words there for your reading pleasure.
The likely scenario is that you’ll flip to NFL Network sometime in the middle of next August, and see Griffin running and doing some cutting, and generally looking healthy. Then you’ll get excited, and think you should take him early in your draft. Then later in the month as meaningful football draws near, we’ll hear that Griffin isn’t ready for game action yet, and there’s an increasing likelihood that he’ll miss the opening week, and possibly the first two weeks.
Or maybe I’ll be woefully wrong, and I hope that’s the case. The NFL without RG3 is an NFL I don’t want to live in after what we saw this year. But the reality is that Kirk Cousins is more than able to fill in for a few weeks, and Griffin means far too much to the Redskins franchise long term to risk a senseless injury in September if he’s not fully healthy.
And please, stop with the Adrian Peterson comparisons. The Vikings running back made a historical, unprecedented comeback, and no two ligament injuries are the same. Campbell kindly reminded us of that fact:
Dr. James Andrews operated on Peterson and Griffin, but two critical differences exist between their situations.
1. They suffered different injuries. Griffin tore the patellar tendon graft that was serving as the ACL in his right knee, his LCL and suffered medial meniscus damage. Peterson tore his ACL, medical collateral ligament and damaged both medial and lateral meniscus.
2. This is Griffin’s second ACL reconstruction (known as a “revision”). Remember that he tore the ACL in the same knee in 2009 while at Baylor. In contrast, Peterson’s ACL reconstruction was his first.
The most damning educated speculation from Campbell was his drop of the dreaded PUP list. Campbell said that when we again consider Griffin’s aforementioned value to the franchise, it’s not inconceivable to imagine a scenario in which he’s placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, and therefore inactive for the first six weeks of the season. In reality, that would be painful for ‘Skins fans who would have to watch their first-round pick from last spring miss nearly half a season in only his second year, but Cousins could still keep the offense afloat and play at least .500 football. For fantasy owners, it would be absolutely crushing.
It’s far too early to make a proper forecast on how this will effect Griffin’s draft value in August. But if we were in the middle of the summer right now, I’d downgrade him only slightly, because a touch of conservative thought is needed here. Similar to Peterson, Griffin’s injury could still actually be helpful even if he misses a few games. There will be those who are scared and much more than only slightly conservative, especially if he misses preseason action. If he begins to fall, there’s an opportunity for great value.