|EDITOR’S CORNER: RGIII’s 'All in for Week 1' not a far-fetched goal|
|Written by Tawni Ricketts, Sports Editor|
|Monday, 25 February 2013 16:38|
One of the most feared injuries in the world of sports is a torn ACL. When Robert Griffin III went down against the Seahawks in the NFL playoffs earlier this year, it felt as if I tore my own ACL all over again. My knee ached at the sight of it, and my heart ached at the thought of RG3’s rookie year potentially negatively affecting the rest of his NFL career.
The prognosis for a return at the start of the 2013 season was grim at first; had he just damaged his ACL it would have been different, but the fact that his LCL was damaged as well — which generally has a longer recovery period than the ACL — was disconcerting.
But the beauty about RG3 is his all around extraordinary athleticism — a trait that allowed Adrian Peterson to bounce back quickly and stronger than ever from a similar injury. Thankfully, RG3 is following the same path.
On Feb. 22 the Redskins released a press release stating that renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews reported that Griffin “is rapidly improving from his off-season knee surgery,” reassuring fans that, “his recovery is way ahead of schedule.”
Adidas, one of RG3’s sponsors, recently released a 30-second ad that promotes, “blowing up last season” and being, “all in for week 1,” in reference to Griffin’s return to the gridiron in the first game of the 2013 season and forgetting all about what happened to him last season. Frankly, with RG3’s determination, rapid recovery progression and athletic strength, that goal can easily become a reality.
But there is one reservation I have about the whole situation.
RG3 is so dedicated that I’m not convinced he knows when to slow down, or even when to stop. He pushes himself to the point of breaking, as evident in the last game of the Redskins’ season, and that’s where my concern lies.
Griffin tweeted last week, “Feel like I need to say this … Although my goal is to start Week 1, that doesn’t mean I will compromise my career to do so … Starting Week 1 will be the result of healing, hard work, dedication & God’s anointing. No rush, just determination.”
While the fact that he is consciously aware that he need not push himself or rush his return to the game, I believe that doctors, physical therapists and coaches hold tremendous responsibility in making sure that he does just that from a physical standpoint.
Part of me wants to blame RG3 for sustaining his injury — for not recognizing when he needed to be taken out in that game against the Seahawks. But part of me also holds Shanahan and the other coaches at an even greater fault.
True competitors, like that of Griffin, refuse to let up. They play through pain and tears, and that’s what makes them so great — what makes them heroes in the eyes of so many people. That’s when it is the coach’s job to step in and sometimes make decisions for them. If RG3 had requested being pulled out of that game, would we still think of him as the iron man we see him as now?
While Griffin will be the sole dictator of his return to the game, the doctors, coaches and rehabilitation staff need to be responsible for making sure he doesn’t hurt himself in the process.
Despite my uneasiness about his rapid recovery thus far, however, I have confidence in Griffin. I’m going all in for RG3 being “All in for Week 1.”