Redskins coach slammed for playing injured Griffin

Mon Jan 7, 2013 6:08pm EST
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(Reuters) - Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan came under fire on Monday for leaving an ailing Robert Griffin III in Sunday's playoff loss to Seattle but rejected any notion that he risked the rookie quarterback's health.

Griffin only left Sunday's 24-14 loss to the Seahawks when he injured himself while trying to grab a bad shotgun snap in the fourth quarter, but critics are suggesting the face of the Redskins should have been taken out of the game earlier.

"Robert is our franchise quarterback. I am not going to take a chance on his career to win a game," Shanahan told reporters at a news conference on Monday.

"But I also know that when you have got the belief in the guy and you feel that he can play at a certain level and the doctor is telling you that he is OK to go in - then you have got to do what you think is right.

"If I didn't think he was right then he wouldn't have been in, its just that simple," added Shanahan, who said he spoke to team doctors on the sidelines on four occasions during the game.

Griffin, who led the Redskins to their first NFC East title since 1999, will head to Florida on Tuesday to see Dr James Andrews and have further tests after an MRI proved inconclusive.

Speaking after Sunday's loss, Griffin said he clearly told the coach he was able to play but conceded he had put himself at risk by playing with the injury.

"I think I did put myself at more risk by being out there but every time you step on the field, you're putting your life, your career and every single ligament in your body in jeopardy," said Griffin.

The Redskins had led the wild-card playoff game 14-0 in the first quarter but Griffin struggled through the rest of the game until walking off the field under his own power.   Continued...

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) is congratulated by Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10), following their NFL NFC wildcard playoff game in Landover, Maryland, January 6, 2013. REUTERS/Laurence Kesterson