When Robert Griffin III’s knee went pop this past January on a field that resembled the average bomb testing site, the second guessing was immediate. And in the opinion of this guy (me), entirely justified.
Griffin was already playing on a wonky knee, and his lack of signature burst and mobility was abundantly clear. Sure, he could still run around a bit, but that’s only because Griffin at even 60 percent is still much more mobile than pretty much any other NFL quarterback who doesn’t have the last name Vick, Kaepernick, or Wilson.
But I’m pretty sure I tore something while watching this…
He’s now we’ll into this recovery — a process that’s moving along quite swimmingly — and he’s coming up on being four months removed from his injury.
At the time immediately following the game Griffin referenced his need to be a leader, and he felt that even though he was far from full health, he was healthy enough to gut it out. Football players will always be football players, and the line between tough and stupid will remain blurry at best.
But with time to reflect, thinking changes, although slightly and confusingly in this case. In an interview with ESPN Magazine that comes to us by way of Dan Steinberg, Griffin’s new mindset towards his knee shredding is…interesting.
Prepare to have your mind bent:
“Your survivor instinct kicks in,” Griffin says. “You’re like, ‘I’m a warrior. I’m a beast. I do all these things, I can push through adversity.’ ”
He acknowledges that he needs to work on moderating that instinct. “If I had another incident like the Ngata hit, I’m out of the game. You pull yourself out at that point. You learn from your mistakes.”
What about the Seahawks game? “I don’t feel like playing against the Seahawks was a mistake. But I see the mistake IN IT.”
“With what happened and how everything was running — you take me out. If that happened again next year, I’d come out of the game and sit until I was 100% healthy.”
So if I’m understanding this correctly (and it’s entirely possible that I’m not…little help?), Griffin maintains he should have stayed in the game while acknowledging why some may see that decision as a mistake. But then he essentially says that if he was given a mulligan, he’d come out of the game.
Cool, makes sense.