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Robert Griffin III ‘Feeling Good’ After Sustaining Concussion On Sunday

By ZAC BOYER

zboyer@freelancestar.com | @ZacBoyer

(Originally posted 10/8/12, 12:33 p.m.; Updated 10/8/12, 6:35 p.m.)

ASHBURN – Robert Griffin III is “feeling good” and has not exhibited any additional symptoms after sustaining a concussion on Sunday, Mike Shanahan said.

Griffin III

The Washington Redskins’ head coach said Griffin, who was hit hard in the third quarter of the 24-17 loss to Atlanta, reported no dizziness, headaches or vomiting as of mid-day Monday. He underwent testing that morning and was scheduled to undergo additional examination by an independent neurologist later that evening.

“He feels like he’s done well on the tests that he’s taken thus far,” Shanahan said. “Hopefully, there’s no symptoms that happen over the next couple days.”

If Griffin is deemed to have exhibited no additional concussion-related symptoms on Monday, he will be put through a cardiovascular workout on Tuesday. If he continues to show he’s healthy, Griffin will participate in a non-contact practice – standard for a Redskins quarterback anyway – on Wednesday.

That’s standard with league protocol regarding concussions, which mandates that players diagnosed with a concussion must be cleared by both a team and independent physician and be able to go through a moderately strenuous period of physical activity without experiencing a recurrence of symptoms.

Any setback during the course of the week would likely prevent Griffin from playing Sunday against Minnesota.

“Once I passed the test, I had to tell them what’s going on in my body – like, if I had any headaches or [nausea] or things like that,” said receiver Aldrick Robinson, who recovered from a concussion last week. “Once I’m cleared, I’m good to go.”

Griffin was hit by Atlanta linebacker Sean Weatherspoon and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux while trying to scramble for a third-down conversion with roughly six minutes remaining in the third quarter. He appeared to lose his footing as he tried to cut out of bounds and was hit by the two defenders, and Shanahan said after the game that Griffin could remember neither the score nor the quarter when asked by the team’s medical personnel.

The head coach clarified that Griffin originally knew both facts, but when asked again when being examined on the sideline, he did not. That triggered additional concussion testing.

“After that procedure, we took him to the locker room and he goes through a standard test,” Shanahan said. “They compare that to the test when he first comes in for his physical. At that time, they determine whether it’s a concussion or not. When that test was not the same as the initial test he took, that’s when the doctors came up with a concussion.”

Griffin, per NFL policy regarding players with concussions, was not available to speak to reporters after the game Sunday or on Monday.

The Redskins, according to a team spokesman, followed all the usual protocols in handling Griffin’s evaluation, and the quarterback was not given any additional treatment aside from receiving stitches for a cut on his chin.

“I saw him after the game and just wanted to check on him, and he was down,” cornerback DeAngelo Hall said Monday. “He was sympathetic. ‘I apologize. I felt like I let you all down.’ … For that to be the first words out of his mouth, that should let you know how dedicated this kid is and how good he wants to be and how much he wants to be out there to help us win.”

The NFL’s handling of concussions has changed greatly in recent years as research has demonstrated the dangers of even a slight misdiagnosis. According to The Washington Times, which has closely monitored concussion litigation, more than 3,500 former NFL players had filed a lawsuit over head injuries they claim were sustained on the field.

“The experts are in charge of it now,” Shanahan said. “We’re not. We have no say. They’ve got a standardized format, which I think is great. It takes us out of the equation and you know, what’s best for the player is usually best for the team.”

Griffin also sustained a concussion last season while at Baylor when he took a helmet-to-helmet hit just before halftime of the Bears’ victory over Texas Tech, but he returned to practice on schedule mid-week. The Redskins’ athletic trainers also suspected Griffin may have sustained a concussion during a goal-line dive against Cincinnati on Sept. 23, but despite feeling dizzy, he exhibited no other symptoms.

Kirk Cousins replaced Griffin for the Redskins’ final five drives on Sunday. Whether Cousins or Rex Grossman, who started much of last season but has been inactive all five games, would replace Griffin is a decision that has not been made.

“Maybe there’s a heightened sense of a need to be ready, but I feel like I’ve had to be ready all these other weeks and obviously needed to be ready this past weekend, and that won’t change,” Cousins said.

Griffin has received approximately 80 percent of the work with the starters during practice, while Cousins and Grossman have unevenly split the rest of the plays. If Griffin is cleared to practice Wednesday, how much time he spends on the field is uncertain.

“We should find out in the next few days exactly what happens,” Shanahan said. “Right now, it looks good. Not really sure if it stays that way, but the professionals will monitor his situation and let us know if he’s able to play or not. We surely have nothing to do with it.”

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