Today, Robert Griffin III spoke to the media for the first time since being sacrificed to the Lions behind Washington’s Maginot offensive line. Everyone wanted to know: Was he concussed? Why have the Skins waffled on the status of his brain? Griffin gave the answers of a man who is supremely sick of this shit.
Schrödinger’s concussion: Griffin was demolished all quarter long. Griffin left after taking a hit to the head. It was announced as a stinger; then as a concussion. The Skins’ official TV broadcast team then said he had “been cleared” of a concussion, and had instead suffered a shoulder injury. Coach Jay Gruden then said Griffin had a concussion. The Skins’ postgame host then said he didn’t. Then he did. Then he didn’t again.
(Genuine confusion here isn’t inconceivable. It’s probably more accurate to think of “getting concussed” as a thing that happens to a player, rather than a “concussion” as a thing he has. The real question is whether Griffin was displaying symptoms of post-concussion syndrome.)
At his press conference today, Griffin was less than forthcoming when asked what had happened to him and when.
There is some debate over whether Griffin’s “I don’t know” is answering the question of if he had a concussion. You can watch the video here (the relevant questions begin at the one-minute mark) and decide for yourself. What’s certain is that Griffin was adamant (and likely under orders) about refusing to give firm answers on his health, and when and why he was pulled from the game.
Griffin is so tired of this. So tired of being hung out to dry. Tired of getting hurt. Tired of having his every word scrutinized. Tired of being clearly and actively hated by his coach. Tired of being thrown under the bus for things out of his control. Tired of being expected to fall on his sword.
Tired of apparently being hated by the guys who are supposed to protect him.
The situation in Washington is an absolute disaster. Gruden is, from every report, ready to move on from Griffin. But he can’t, because Griffin remains in Dan Snyder’s favor, and what Dan Snyder wants, Dan Snyder gets. Things like this lead to conspiracy theories like the one claiming that Gruden intentionally wants Griffin to get injured, but that doesn’t hold water for one potentially messy reason.
Washington picked up RGIII’s fifth-year contract option for 2016, but it is guaranteed for injury only. If things don’t change this season, they can cut him before the start of the next league year and not owe him a thing. But if he gets injured this season and requires the offseason to recover, his 2016 contract becomes guaranteed. If Gruden is being forced to start Griffin, and if Gruden is secretly hoping Griffin gets hurt so he can turn to Kirk Cousins or Colt McCoy, he’d better hope Griffin only gets hurt a little bit. Anything too serious will mean RGIII and Gruden will be stuck with each other for 2016 too.