It seemed like the Washington Redskins franchise was on the verge of becoming a powerhouse. Last season, they finished with a 10-6 record and made the playoffs for the first time since 2007. On top of that, they had dual-threat quarterback Robert Griffin III and powerful running back Alfred Morris leading a diverse and dangerous offensive attack. Needless to say, expectations were very high for the future.
All that changed when RG3 gruesomely injured his knee in last year’s playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. Leg injuries usually have a long and frustrating recovery period. This is apparent in RG3’s case. This season, the quarterback has thrown only 15 touchdowns compared to his 11 interceptions and has posted a QBR rating of 42.1 (on a scale of 1 to 100). After rushing for 815 yards last season, Griffin III has failed to top 100 yards in a game this season. Washington is in the midst of a four-game losing streak which includes defeats to subpar teams such as the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants. After the Redskins’ embarrassing 27-6 blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers, linebacker Ahmad Brooks of the 49ers said, “I personally don’t feel he should be playing right now…everybody can see it.” Should Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan bench Griffin for the remainder of their already disappointing 3-9 season and allow him to recover fully? The answer should be a resounding yes.
Throughout his career, RG3 will be prone to injuries because his tendency is to scramble out of the pocket and run. If he keeps playing and never fully heals, he will at some point re-injure that knee badly enough where it could jeopardize his career and the future of his team. Also, it’s not like the Redskins are having a great season and Griffin is leading them to victory with his injured knee; that would be a different story. The fact is they are losing, the season is dead and Griffin is struggling. It should be a no-brainer to let him rest for the remainder of the season and come back next year healthy and ready to win again.
Finally, the Redskins have a very talented young quarterback in Kirk Cousins. He hasn’t seen that much action throughout his short pro career, but he dominated at Michigan State and has all the mechanics to become a reputable starter for the rest of the season. In game action last year, he posted a completion percentage of 68.8 and a QBR of 75.2.
The Redskins have the potential to be great once again, but it’s not going to happen this season. Shanahan should put in Cousins and allow RG3 to recover and lead the Redskins back to the playoffs next season.
Contact Charlie Enberg at [email protected]