Robert Griffin III hurt but not ruled out for Sunday's game
(AP, ABC7) - ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said Monday that Robert Griffin III has a mild sprain of a ligament in the right knee and hasn't been ruled out for the upcoming game against the Cleveland Browns.
Shanahan said the injury is a Grade 1 sprain of the lateral collateral ligament on the outside of the knee, caused when the rookie quarterback was hit at the end of a scramble late in regulation in the Redskins' 31-28 overtime win Sunday over the Baltimore Ravens.
Shanahan says Griffin has mild swelling and is receiving treatment multiple times a day.
"He's definitely not ruled out for the Cleveland game," Shanahan said.
The LCL is one of four ligaments in the knee. A Grade 1 sprain typically means the ligament is stretched or has some minor tears.
The most severe knee injury usually associated with sports is a season-ending torn ACL, the anterior cruciate ligament. Griffin tore the ACL in his right knee while playing for Baylor in 2009, but Shanahan said Griffin's reconstructed ACL "looks great" and that there's "no problem there."
Fellow rookie Kirk Cousins will start if Griffin can't. Cousins threw a touchdown pass with 29 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and ran in the game-tying 2-point conversion after Griffin was hurt.
"Both of them will have a game plan," Shanahan said. "And obviously Robert can do some things in the running game that Kirk can't."
The Redskins (7-6) have won four straight and trail the New York Giants by one game in the NFC East.
Griffin was limping and wearing a big black brace on his knee in the locker room after the game. Instead of taking the big step onto the podium for his postgame news conference, he had to walk around the platform and use the smaller steps to get to the microphone.
He had an X-ray at the stadium, and he said doctors poking at his knee told him that his ligaments ''felt good.'' The worst-case scenario would have been an ACL tear, like the one he had on the same knee while playing for Baylor in 2009.
''I'm not a doctor, but I know what an ACL feels like,'' Griffin said before leaving to have MRI. ''And it doesn't feel like an ACL. ... If I felt that, I'd be pretty nervous. But we won the game, everybody's praying for me, I feel pretty good right now about the whole situation.''
Last year's Heisman Trophy winner was hurt during Washington's final drive of regulation when was tackled by Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata at the end of a 13-yard scramble.
''I knew as soon as I got hit. I screamed. Like a man, of course,'' Griffin added with a laugh. ''It hurt really bad.''
Griffin sat out one play, then returned for four more, completing two passes to get the Redskins deep into Ravens territory. But he was also hopping on one leg and eventually fell to the turf, no longer able to continue.
''I knew I needed to get out at that point,'' Griffin said. ''I couldn't move. At some point, you have to do what's right for the team. And if I'm playing the rest of that game, I probably would have hurt myself even more.''
While Griffin was getting treatment on the sideline, Redskins backup quarterback Kirk Cousins threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon with 29 seconds left. Cousins then ran in a 2-point conversion to tie the score 28-28, and the teams headed to overtime. Kai Forbath's 34-yard field goal won the game in the extra period.
Griffin completed 15 of 26 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown. He also ran seven times for 34 yards.
It was the second game this season that the No. 2 overall draft pick has been unable to finish because of an injury. He left the Oct. 7 loss to the Atlanta Falcons because of a concussion, but returned the following week.