Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III suffered a Grade 1 lateral collateral ligament sprain on his right knee and he “definitely” has not been ruled out for Sunday’s game at Cleveland, coach Mike Shanahan said.
It’s a far better diagnosis than the Redskins could have expected when they saw Griffin being helped off the field late in Sunday’s 31-28 overtime win vs. Baltimore.
“When I looked at it on film, I thought it would be worse than it was,” said Shanahan, who initially called it a strain ACL before later correcting the information. “If you check with people what a Grade 1 means, that kind of gives you a good indication of where he’s at.”
Griffin still has mild swelling in his knee; a Grade 2 sprain would often result in a two-to-four week absence. So a Grade 1 is considered the best Griffin could have expected.
Shanahan said he wasn’t sure if Griffin would practice Wednesday.
“Everyone reacts a little differently,” Shanahan said. “We get a chance to evaluate during the week…if he can help us, if a guy can play at full speed or is playing on one leg or there’s a chance he could further hurt himself, I’m not going to put them in that situation.”
Shanahan said Dr. James Andrews, who was on the sidelines Sunday, told him Griffin could re-enter after he was initially hurt on a second-and-19 scramble with one minute, 56 seconds left in the game. Griffin played four more snaps and exited.
As for the scramble, Shanahan said it was a case of a player trying to make a play at a crucial time.
“It was like a playoff game to us and Robert was going to do anything to get that first down,” Shanahan said. “In normal circumstances he would have slid or get to the outside. Most quarterbacks, or at least the quarterbacks we would want, put themselves in that situation. You want him to protect himself so he can stay healthy, but when you think of the mindset of the quarterback, [it's], ‘we have to get the ball in the end zone; I’ll do whatever I can to help this team win.’ ”