Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III had his best run of the season on Sunday against Detroit, but that run became one of Griffin’s worst plays of the season when he went into a head-first slide and lost the ball as he hit the ground. Griffin said he doesn’t like the rule that allows the ground to cause a fumble in that situation.
Griffin said in a postgame radio interview that he knows the ground can cause a fumble if a runner goes to the ground head first on his own and isn’t touched by the defense. Griffin also knows that if he had slid feet-first, the play would have ended as soon as he went into his slide, and if he had dropped the ball when he hit the ground it would not have been a fumble.
“Yeah, it’s the rule,” Griffin said, via Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post. “And it’s a stupid rule. You’d think if you declare yourself down that you’d be down. I mean, I wasn’t falling. I was trying to get down to avoid a hit, slide, be out there for my team. Knee down, elbow down, and then the ball comes out. According to them, it’s a fumble. That’s just the way it goes. It just sucks.”
But while Griffin may think the rule should change, if he knows the rule then it’s his own fault that he didn’t either slide feet first or secure the ball when he went down head first. Griffin needs to take better care of the football: He now has 17 fumbles in 19 career games. And that sucks.