Washington Redskins fans are holding their breath as a wave of reports emerge concerning the status of Robert Griffin III after the star rookie quarterback sustained a scary knee injury during Sunday’s NFL Playoffs loss against the Seattle Seahawks.
But it appears that the news is not as bad as it was first reported, as a Richmond, Va., news station has taken a report off its website that stated that sources said RGIII would be out for 14 to 18 months, meaning he wouldn’t play a single minute next season.
The station, Richmond’s ABC affiliate WRIC 8News, has yet to explain its removal of the report, and has replaced the original story with a short, generic Associated Press dispatch that simply states that Griffin may be out for nine to 12 months if he has re-torn his ACL.
But the initial report, which appears to be erroneous judging by the station’s removal less than two hours after it was posted at 2:59 p.m. EST on Monday, immediately created quite the stir online as football fans lamented what seemed to be a body blow to the Redskins’ hopes for the 2013-2014 season.
“Sources close to the Redskins camps say Robert Griffin III has torn his ACL and PCL, and will not be able to play for a minimum of 14-18 months. Stay with 8News for updates,” the initial report stated.
This link will take you to the page that once held that report and as of early Monday evening had been replaced with the AP story.
The report has also been attributed to ESPN 980 radio, but on Monday afternoon the station denied via Twitter that it had reported the 14 to 18 month claim, supplying a photograph of the story as it was originally posted on WRIC’s website to bolster its case.
“NOT AN ESPN980 report Richmond TV station backs off of RG3 story. Here is screen grab of original storypic.twitter.com/IyEdHqsz,” the official ESPN 980 radio Twitter account tweeted.
The story was most likely attributed to the ESPN affiliate because of the fact that its official Twitter account tweeted out a link to the WRIC 8News article shortly before it was taken down:
“Richmond TV station: Sources close to Skins camp say RG3 has torn ACL& PCL & will not play for a min of 14-18 months.http://www.wric.com/story/20523289/redskins-await-rg3-knee#.UOsxsSkJZmN.twitter …,” the station tweeted.
ESPN980 went on shortly thereafter to explain that the story had been removed from the site:
So though the nightmarish scenario originally reported by WRIC 8News is in question, it is still likely that Robert Griffin III may be on the bench for a significant portion of the 2013-14 NFL season, which will be only the second in his young career.
The AP reported Monday that RGIII, a rookie many NFL observers are predicting will win the Rookie of the Year award for this season, is slated to undergo another round of tests on his right knee after an inconclusive MRI that was unable to determine the extent of his injury due to a previous ACL tear he sustained in 2009 while playing for Baylor University. The quarterback will visit orthopedist James Andrews Tuesday to undergo the second round of tests, according to the AP.
“If Griffin has torn the ACL again, he would likely require a rehabilitation period of nine to 12 months, putting his status for next season in jeopardy,” the AP wrote. “Griffin re-injured his knee twice in Sunday's playoff loss to Seattle.”
Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan spoke about Griffin’s injury on Monday, according to Redskins.com:
“Right now, I really don’t know. Everything right now is total speculation,” Shanahan said. “There is a concern. They want to take another look and have a physical exam with him to make sure they’re not looking at old injuries.”
Griffin did not speak with reporters Monday, but he spoke out about the injury Sunday after the game ended with the Skins losing 24-14.
“My knee kind of buckled on me and scared me a little bit, so I went to the sideline and got a tape job done on the knee. I didn’t get hit. I just planted on it wrong,” he said, according to Redskins.com. “No, the knee did not affect me trying to throw. The interception, I underthrew Pierre [Garçon] on that one. Sometimes you underthrow a guy here and there. [That was] just an unfortunate underthrow.”
Griffin injured his right knee Sunday night as he attempted to pick up the football following a drop caused by a bad shotgun snap. His already-braced right knee buckled underneath him, and he remained on the ground for a short period before being escorted off the field.
Press play below to watch video of the rookie quarterback’s knee injury during Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks: