Subtle yet palpable tension exists between the desire to put quarterback Robert Griffin III back on the field for Week One of the 2013 season and Griffin’s objective of ensuring his long-term health.
Recently, Griffin added an unmistakable asterisk to the “All In For Week One” tagline of a new ad campaign, pointing out that he won’t compromise his career in order to return for the first game of the coming football season. Dr. James Andrews, who openly fretted about the team’s decision to let Griffin play with a bad knee (not long before the knee imploded), has since proclaimed the Griffin is “way ahead of schedule.”
A person close to Griffin has suggested, under the cover of anonymity, that the time has come to take a more low-key approach.
“I don’t understand why we’re talking about how close he is to playing or not right now,” the source told Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports. “Let him just get better; there’s a long way to go.”
Any talk about Griffin’s rehab and recovery creates hope that he’ll be ready to go when the season begins. And that’s something about which the networks are reportedly curious as the jockeying for the best slate of games commences.
“Again, it’s been like six weeks; what are we doing this for?” the source told Cole regarding the talk of Griffin’s recovery. “He’s not running yet. . . . It’s ridiculous to talk about.”
The source is right. And it’s odd, to say the least, that Dr. Andrews is expressing cockeyed optimism only weeks after he came off as prescient for attempting to press the “caution” button regarding Griffin’s injured knee.
Griffin will be ready when he’s ready. Putting him on the field at anything less than 100 percent would be even more foolish than leaving him on the field against the Seahawks when he was bad limping and increasingly ineffective.
And if Griffin feels like he’s being pushed too aggressively to return, a wedge could be driven between the franchise and its first franchise quarterback in years.