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Robert Griffin III Again Downplays Effect Of Sprained Right Knee On Performance

By ZAC BOYER

zboyer@freelancestar.com | @ZacBoyer

LANDOVER, Md. – Robert Griffin III downplayed the effect his sprained right knee had on the game plan Sunday after the Washington Redskins’ 28-18 victory over Dallas.

Griffin III

Griffin, who originally sprained the knee Dec. 9 against Baltimore, attempted just 18 passes against the Cowboys, completing nine for 100 yards. That performance came a week after Griffin went 16-for-24 for 198 yards in a victory at Philadelphia.

The Redskins asked Alfred Morris to carry the ball 33 times, and he ran for 200 yards and scored three touchdowns.

Unlike last week, however, Griffin ran six times for 63 yards, but he still appeared sluggish and lacking burst.

“I don’t think my health influenced the passing,” Griffin said. “I was healthy enough to run. I think that’s why [head coach Mike Shanahan] called upon me to run. … But whenever you have a running back like Alfred do what he did tonight, you have to keep riding that.”

When asked after the victory over the Eagles whether the knee limited his role in the offense, Griffin merely pointed to the outcome.

Shanahan said he didn’t see Griffin being limited by the knee in practice all week and, if anything, suggested Griffin’s time in the 40-yard dash may be closer to 4.5 seconds than the 4.3 seconds he measured at the NFL Combine.

“He always tells me he’s fine, and you can see that he was hurting a little bit, even though he won’t admit that to me,” Shanahan said. “It shows you what type of competitor he is to play at the level he did and orchestrate the type of performance being hurt a little bit.”

Griffin finished the regular season having completed 65.7 percent of his passes for 3,200 yards with 20 touchdowns and five interceptions. His 102.4 quarterback rating is the highest ever amongst rookie quarterbacks, surpassing the 98.1 reached by Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger in 2004, and his 815 rushing yards are the most ever for a rookie quarterback.

Winning the NFC East title and qualifying for the playoffs was particularly important to Griffin, who said the victory over Dallas was the best victory of his career.

“Hopefully, we can win the overall championship of the league, but this is the best feeling I’ve ever had,” Griffin said. “I sat in the locker room at a loss for words, just because it’s that important to us. We went out and did what we said we were going to do. We won seven straight, won our division, and now we’re in the playoffs. Now it’s up to us to decide how far we want to go.”

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