When it comes to Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews has shown something less than renowned P.R. skills.
And so, after saying a few things that haven’t helped the situation, Dr. Andrews has opted to say nothing about Griffin.
Andrews’ decision to clam up was on display during an appearance on 106.7 The Fan in D.C. to promote his new book.
Initially, Andrews was asked generally about the difference between being medically cleared and 100 percent. Griffin’s name wasn’t specifically mentioned (it seems that one of the ground rules was that Griffin wouldn’t be specifically discussed), but Andrews sensed where it was going.
“Well, that’s a difficult question and it’s probably not fair to discuss that under the circumstances,” Andrews said, “but I can tell you that generally when you think an athlete’s ready to go back, he’s still got about two months to go through the psychological aspects of it and to get his mind cleared about what’s happened to him, and to be ready to really get back to his previous level. So it’s not a clear line, a clear definition to be able to make those decisions.”
That’s an interesting observation, one that no one offered in the weeks preceding the start of the regular season, at which time everyone assumed that, once Griffin was cleared to play, he’d be the guy he was. Someone, whether Andrews or coach Mike Shanahan, should have been getting that message out there, in order to properly manage fan expectations.
The conversation then became more specific. And Andrews became much more guarded, refusing for example to talk about Shanahan.
“I can’t get into all that,” Andrews said. “I’m sorta mum on that. They don’t want me discussing that. So I really don’t want to get into those type questions if I can help it. I told them that I’m not there to grab any headlines or talk about this, that, and the other. So I let the team do the talking, seriously.”
“Everybody wants to know, when’s he gonna be back to the guy that he was,” co-host Danny Rouhier eventually said, specifically mentioning Griffin. “And this is his second major procedure he’s had.”
“Yeah,” Andrews said. “I can’t answer that question. Y’all keep hitting me on that, but I’m not going to get into that subject. . . . So don’t push that anymore,” Andrews said. “Stop putting me on the spot. I’m not able to talk about that. I’m not even able to talk about that from a general standpoint.”
Andrews shouldn’t have been surprised that he’d be asked about Griffin, given that he included a Washington radio station on his book tour. The broader message is that someone within the Redskins organization finally has told Dr. Andrews to take some of that gauze he uses for surgery, and jam it into his mouth.