Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III limped around for much of Sunday's playoff game against Seattle, and was finally forced out of the game when his knee gave out fielding a low shotgun snap in the fourth quarter.
The injury already brought up questions and comments by FOX announcer Troy Aikman, who cited controversial remarks by well-known orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who told USA Today that he did not clear Robert Griffin III to return to the Redskins' Dec. 9 game against the Baltimore Ravens after he sprained his right knee.
"I'm the one that shut him down that day, finally," Andrews said, according to USA Today. "I've been a nervous wreck letting him come back as quick as he has. He's doing a lot better this week, but he's still recovering and I'm holding my breath because of it."
Those comments were made before the playoffs began, but the issue resurfaced on Sunday against Seattle, when Griffin came up limping after a first-quarter play, but did not miss any playing time in the first half.
During Seattle's ensuing possession, Griffin and Dr. Andrews went into a small hut on the playing field but out of view of spectators. The Redskins issued no statement about a possible injury, and Griffin returned to the field after Washington regained possession.
The Redskins led 14-0 at the time, but fell behind as Griffin was clearly not moving at full speed, was an easy target for sacks and inaccurate on most passes. He tweaked the right knee inward while trying to get an errant shotgun snap with 6:19 left in the game and Washington trailing 24-14.
"You just do what you've got to do," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said after the game. "You make decisions based on everything. Everything. What's in the best interest of him? What gives you the best chance to win the game? 'll promise you if we thought it had something to do with Robert's career, with that injury, we would've took him out."
Kirk Cousins, the rookie who won while replacing Griffin before, replaced Griffin as Aikman and FOX studio announcer Jimmy Johnson mused that the Redskins offense might have been better off with a healthy Cousins from the start. "You have to ask yourself if RGII should have been on the field today," added Hall of Famer defensive lineman and FOX announcer Howie Long.
Andrews, who was on the sideline during the Dec. 9 game, said Shanahan bypassed him for advice in that one and sent Griffin back into the game for four plays before Griffin came out for the remainder of the game last month.
"(Shanahan) didn't even let us look at him," Andrews said of the Dec. 9 game. "He came off the field, walked through the sidelines, circled back through the players, and took off back to the field. It wasn't our opinion. We didn't even get to touch him or talk to him. Scared the hell out of me."
Shanahan told reporters the day after the game that he did get the OK from Andrews to allow Griffin to re-enter the game.
"He's the one that gives me that information," Shanahan said. "It's way over my head."
Griffin missed one game from what was called a Grade One LCL sprain before getting cleared to play.
Andrews said that he made the decision to take Griffin out after he re-entered the Dec. 9 game.
"I'm the one that shut him down that day, finally," Andrews said. "I've been a nervous wreck letting him come back as quick as he has. He's doing a lot better this week, but he's still recovering and I'm holding my breath because of it.
"He passed all the tests and all the functional things we do, but it's been a trying moment for me, to be honest with you."
Griffin wore a knee brace during Sunday's NFC wild-card playoff game against the Seahawks. He has worn a brace since he returned Dec. 23.They should have listened to Dr. Andrews.