For those living in and around the Beltway, you can expect that most party conversations in the upcoming months will likely revolve around Congress, fiscal policy … and Robert Griffin III’s knee. Understanding the way the latter brought football fans in D.C. together, regardless of ideology, it might end up being the most unpleasant bit of parlor talk you’ll hear along the Potomac all spring long.
(By the way, being a sporting savior in the nation’s capital should come with hazard pay. Just ask Stephen Strasburg and John Wall.)
While the merits of Mike Shanahan’s decision to keep an obviously hobbled RG3 on the field in Sunday’s playoff loss will be argued ad nauseum, you, dear fantasy enthusiast, should mostly be concerned with what it means for the young quarterback long term. We presumably won’t know more until Tuesday at the earliest, when Griffin visits Dr. James Andrews for more tests. The hope is that the injury isn’t serious — similar to how the star rookie avoided any serious damage when he initially injured the knee in Week 14 against the Baltimore Ravens — even if the visual of Griffin lying on the ground in pain presupposes a different story.
However, it does call into question whether or not serious injuries will be a large part of Griffin’s career moving forward. It’s naive to think that any player can remain injury-free during an NFL career — especially a quarterback. Yet it’s become almost a commandment that quarterbacks who run frequently are more prone to suffering major injuries of all types. It’s a list as varied as the men who have played the position, ranging from John Elway to Randall Cunningham to Steve Young to Michael Vick.
Certainly, Griffin’s fantasy value for 2013 will be determined by the results of the tests he is schedule to undergo. Taking into account knee injuries suffered by any athlete not named Adrian Peterson, if RG3 is forced to sit out any (or all) of next season, fantasy owners will have to wonder whether he will look like the player we came to know during the 2012 regular season. Don’t look for Griffin to change his style of play (nor should he, realizing his aggressiveness helped him achieve his success), but it also means that we might have to consider that fantasy football’s newest stud quarterback could also be its latest major risk/reward option.
– Marcas Grant
Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG