Robert Griffin III is essentially a human Jenga tower, and so anytime he gets on the field the question to ask is not “Hey, is RGIII gonna be good again?” but rather “So, how long is this going to last?” If yesterday’s season opener against the Eagles is any indication, the answer is “Not long!”
The Browns just announced that RGIII has been placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury:
Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III sustained a significant injury during the team’s season opener at Philadelphia on Sunday and has been placed on injured reserve.
He is expected to miss an extended period of time during the 2016 season after medical tests on Sunday night and Monday morning revealed a fractured coracoid bone in his left shoulder. Although surgery is not required at this time, Griffin’s left shoulder will be re-evaluated in 3-4 weeks.
NFL rules state that any player put on injured reserve must miss a minimum of eight games, so we aren’t going to be seeing RGII for a while.
Griffin likely hurt himself on a fourth-quarter scramble that saw him trucking straight into a defender while trying to get out of bounds. It was one of those hits that immediately looked like trouble:
To be fair to RGIII, I don’t think he meant to make himself a battering ram on that play. It’s hard to parse everything at full speed, but it looks to me like he was expecting his receiver to hold the block and was trying to get out of bounds as fast as possible. When the corner slipped his block and surprised RGIII at the sideline, he was already running at full speed and couldn’t really do much.
Still, these are the kinds of hits that a running quarterback is going to have to absorb every now and then, and Griffin’s body just does not seem to be built to handle that kind of punishment. He can be as careful and committed to getting out of bounds and sliding as he wants, but football is fast and messy and getting hit is the cost of doing business. If the Browns really want RGIII to be their longterm starter, leaving the pocket might not be an option they can afford to give him.