We begin the sixth glorious NFL Sunday of the season with the most expected news possible.
All week, we hoped that Robert Griffin III would play. And all week he practiced, building up to being pretty much a full participant in Washington’s Friday session. Yet all week, we were still at least a little concerned due to the lingering, unpredictable nature of concussions, with symptoms sometimes returning as physical exertion is increased. Earlier this year before his season-ending knee injury we saw Darelle Revis claim that he was fine, but he was unable to fully practice by Friday, and he was therefore a Week 2 scratch.
But there will be no such catastrophe with Bob Griffin, as according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the news we all expected has become a reality and RG3 is starting today against the Vikings.
We’ll have the usual Sunday morning breakdown of all the other notable actives and inactives in a little less than an hour prior to the early kickoffs. But for now, roll back over in the other direction to grab that coffee and Baileys, knowing that the third highest point producer in fantasy is alright.
The mobile quarterback presents both a problem, and a solution to a problem. Like Michael Vick before him, just five games into his career this is the difficult existence of Robert Griffin III.
He allows the offensive coordinator to pursue creative avenues that were otherwise unimaginable before. Options, roll outs, and designed runs can be executed with ease using the quarterback’s elite athleticism, and until defenses adjust (and they always do) there’s an element of surprise.
The problem is that inviting such a unique scheme has consequences, namely repeated blows to the head and other areas of the body which aren’t designed to sustain such punishment. We assumed there would eventually be some kind of breakage with RG3 if he kept running and exposing himself with such frequency, and in Week 5 the inevitable became reality when he sustained a concussion against the Falcons.
You were warned, Robert Griffin III, and the Redskins. Just because Griffin is fast and able to make plays with his legs and run an option offense effectively doesn’t mean he should do it nearly every play.
Two weeks ago prior to Week 4, we were worried about you, Robert, and not just because you were in the wandering crosshairs of some home-wreaking vixen, and not because of the possibility that you’ll have a son and also name him Robert Griffin and he’ll become a linebacker, and a Griffin will sack a Griffin 20 years from now to begin the slow implosion of our world.
No, we were worried because the third edition of the Griffin name was getting crunched regularly, and through just three games he had already been hit 54 times, the majority of which came on either scrambles or designed runs. So we wondered if Griffin would break, and we praised our fantasy football deities nightly for their efforts to ensure his prolonged health. Losing Griffin for any length of time will be incredibly damaging since he’s the third best point producer at his position, and also the third highest out of all the positions.
A hit that was as inevitable as it was avoidable knocked Griffin out of the Redskins’ eventual loss to the Falcons, and although he’s since repeatedly said that he feels good and isn’t experiencing any symptoms, concussions are always an unpredictable injury.
Last March and April when we were all scrutinizing Robert Griffin III’s 40-yard dash time and perhaps even coming to the conclusion that he may not be as confident as, say, Ryan Tannehill due to the latter’s model wife — because that’s a thing which is actually used to measure such intangibles which cannot be measured –there was an easy, sometimes lazy comparison which percolated, and would never die.
Robert Griffin III was Michael Vick, we all said. That’s because every quarterback who can run and be evasive with his legs was once injected with the Michael Vick gene at birth, something team scientists have been brewing and perfecting for years. Cam Newton is also Vick, and so is every even moderately mobile quarterback who has a good run once every week or two, and therefore they looked like Vick on said play.
In short, we are all Michael Vick if we’ve ever sprinted with a football.