Washington Redskins talented quarterback Robert Griffin III has had a major sophomore slump, and one major issue is whether or not he’s even fully recovered from an ACL tear. But there’s a difference between being fully recovered from an injury of that magnitude and being at full strength in terms of agility, speed and cutting ability. RG3 is very likely fully healthy, but he’s still not at full strength as far as his rushing ability goes. That’s hurt him overall, because it’s forced him to become more a pure passer this season. That hasn’t worked out well due to his deficiencies as a passer (remember, he’s only in his second year in the league) and the fact that defenses have adjusted to him. I also believe that we put unrealistic expectations on Griffin this year, and there were several people who stated before the season that RG3 would have a big sophomore slump.
The Redskins have been horrendous this season after surprisingly making the playoffs in RG3′s first year, and it’s been crazy seeing the negative turnaround. It’s always important to keep in mind that winner takes the spoils and praise is easy to find when a team is winning; that’s why we heard so much praise lofted at both RG3 and Mike Shanahan last year. But now that the Redskins are struggling, criticism is abound, and it also seems like everyone in the locker room has some sort of a rift, particularly when it comes to RG3.
On Monday Night Football last week, the Redskins suffered another disappointing loss, as they came nowhere near threatening a top-notch San Francisco 49ers team in a 27-6 game. The usually solid Redskins offensive tackles were beat badly by highly effective 49ers OLB duo Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith, as RG3 was beat up all night long. Following the game, Brooks made a strong statement by saying that RG3 isn’t even healthy enough to play due to his knee injury.
If you believe what Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is saying, then that’s evidently not the case. According to Shanahan, Redskins team doctors have stated that Griffin is totally healthy, via the Washington Post’s Mike Jones, “Robert is definitely healthy. Not from my opinion of studying X-rays, but from guys who know more than just football – doctors. They say he’s healthy and he looks healthy to me. I think it’s just natural. Anybody playing with a knee brace and coming off their first year on the ACL, he might not be quite as explosive, or quite as fast – just like anybody who’s torn their ACL. But in terms of health, when the doctors say somebody’s healthy, I definitely feel like he’s healthy.”
I agree with what Shanahan is saying, because Griffin should be fully healthy. However, as Shanahan added, he doesn’t have all of his explosion or speed yet, and that’s almost obvious to see. Brooks’s comments were always hyperbolic, but it’s clear to me that we can’t make any knee-jerk reactions when it comes to Griffin.