Something shady is what. Last week, Robert Griffin III, the saddest man in the NFL, was left in a preseason game against the Lions for far too long behind an offensive line made up of cellophane and twigs and suffered a concussion that was initially diagnosed as a stinger.
But wait! Maybe it wasn’t a concussion after all? The team went back and forth all week over whether or not RGIII was concussed before announcing Thursday that, no it’s fine, his head is okay, he’ll play on Saturday. Griffin himself just seemed grumpy and over the whole affair, telling reporters, “Man, I just work here.” He was evasive and glum, not exactly sounding like someone who had narrowly missed a concussion.
But then a day later, the team reversed course and an independent neurologist issued a statement saying that Griffin would be out for a few weeks, without ever using the word concussion.
Here, we might be leaving the realm of negligence and inching towards conspiracy. Regardless of whether or not Griffin had definitively been diagnosed with a concussion, there’s no reason for Jay Gruden to rush him back for one last preseason beatdown against Baltimore. Concussions are notoriously difficult to diagnose, so no matter what of what the team doctors say about his head, running RGIII out into a meaningless game if there’s uncertainty is at best irresponsible. Factor in the ramshackle front protecting him and Gruden would be courting disaster for his starter. Griffin has a bad injury history and maybe a swollen brain.
It might be more than caution that’s holding RGIII out. Some people worth listening to, like Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, think Gruden could be trying to get Griffin out of Washington, even if it means jeopardizing his career. Freeman spoke to an NFL head coach who said leaving Griffin in the game against Detroit, “looks personal to me.” A coach setting his quarterback up to suffer brain damage is a pretty crazy thought, but this is Dan Snyder and Jay Gruden’s football team.
Lest we forget, Gruden has a history of preferring Kirk Cousins to Griffin against Snyder’s wishes. This mysterious injury clears the way for Cousins to start. Factor in Griffin’s history of fragility, his non-guaranteed 2016 option, and reports that his teammates don’t like him, and we could be seeing the end of RGIII in Washington very soon.
Washington is a circus, man.
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