During Washington's 31-28 victory over the the Ravens five weeks ago, Haloti Ngata brought down Robert Griffin III during the fourth quarter, leaving Griffin limping. Griffin sat out one play, then returned for four more, going 2/3 and advancing Washington to the Baltimore 16 before intentionally grounding the ball and leaving the game for good. Kirk Cousins would lead the team to an overtime victory that day, and to a blowout win in Cleveland the following week before Griffin returned in Week 16. Doctors ultimately diagnosed Griffin with a sprained knee, and he seemed to have made a full recovery.
Today, about six hours before the Redskins kick off in their wildcard game against the Seahawks, Dr. James Andrews (the famous orthopedic surgeon who also acts as a team doctor for the Redskins) cast some doubt on the prospects of that recovery, and suggested that Mike Shanahan had lied about the crucial stretch in which Griffin bounded back into the game before collapsing four plays later.
In theory, Dr. Andrews should have cleared Griffin to play, and for some time, the story was that he did. At a postgame press conference after the game against the Ravens, Mike Shanahan described the exchange thusly:
"He's on the sidelines with Dr. Andrews. He had a chance to look at him and he said he could go back in," Shanahan said Dec. 10. "(I said) 'Hey, Dr. Andrews, can Robert go back in?'
'Yeah, he can go back in.'
'Robert, go back in.'
"That was it," Shanahan said.
None of that happened! Mike Shanahan was lying to the collective face of the news media, as football coaches often do—but this time about health precautions taken to ensure the long-term safety of his star player. (Not the first time he's done that this season.) Andrews told USA Today:
"[Griffin] didn't even let us look at him," Andrews said. "He came off the field, walked through the sidelines, circled back through the players, and took off back to the field. It wasn't our opinion.
"We didn't even get to touch him or talk to him. Scared the hell out of me."
Andrews is still scared. Though Griffin has led the Redskins to consecutive wins, he is "still recovering," and the saga has been "a trying moment" for Andrews. As with the past two weeks, Griffin will be wearing a knee brace when he takes the field this afternoon.