ASHBURN, Va. -- Robert Griffin III felt good enough to attend something called a Rookie Success Program meeting Monday morning and seemed, by all accounts, to be doing just fine on the day after suffering his first NFL concussion.
Griffin still has to complete the league’s mandated return-to-play protocol before he’s cleared for practice, but his Washington Redskins teammates and coach Mike Shanahan were optimistic the Heisman Trophy winner will be able to play in this week’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.
There’s nothing like a head injury to the future-of-the-franchise to make the ins and outs of concussion rules and symptoms suddenly the trendy topic inside Redskins Park. Shanahan described in detail the process Griffin will undergo, defended the decision to have the rookie described as "shaken up" during the game, and -- most importantly -- talked about ways to help prevent such an injury from happening again.
Griffin was injured while scrambling near the sidelines on a third-and-goal play. He couldn’t find an open receiver, so he tried to turn the corner and lost his footing -- just in time for his helmet to ram into the upper body of linebacker Sean Weatherspoon.
In retrospect, he should’ve just run out of bounds or simply thrown the ball away, but Griffin is a valuable commodity in part because he’s a threat as a runner. The Redskins (2-3) cut back his designed runs after he took some jarring hits in the first three games, and there’s only so much more they can do other than hope he makes wiser decisions in the future.
The Redskins announced the injury by saying Griffin was "shaken up" and that his return was "questionable" -- and never updated his status. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league was reviewing whether the team violated a league policy by supplying "blatantly false and inaccurate information" about an injury.
That policy was stated in a 2003 memo after Shanahan, who was then the coach of the Denver Broncos, put out false information about Jake Plummer’s injury during a game, telling the club to announce that the quarterback had a concussion instead of a separated shoulder.
Shanahan said Griffin experienced "no dizziness, no headaches, no vomiting" on Monday. Griffin was scheduled for tests, and, if he passes them, will get a session on the treadmill Tuesday. If all goes well, he’ll be able to practice Wednesday without contact and be on pace to play the Vikings. A possible complication is that Griffin suffered a concussion last season with Baylor, and the side effects are known to be cumulative.