Robert Griffin III: ‘The Knee Feels Fine’
The quarterback, hit a dozen times in the season opener against the Eagles, didn’t experience any soreness in his right knee aside from what he’d usually feel after a game.
BY ZAC BOYER
ASHBURN – The hits came steadily, a dozen in all, and yet Robert Griffin III and his surgically repaired right knee withstood every single one.
The Redskins’ quarterback said Wednesday he “passed the hit test” in the opener Monday night against the Eagles, clearing the one major obstacle that remained in his recovery.
“I got hit a lot,” Griffin said. “I got hit every kind of way, too, so I think that’s another huge relief for everybody – the coaches, the players, myself. Other than that, I think we’ve just got to clean up our execution of the offense.”
The Redskins, like all other teams, forbid players from hitting the quarterbacks in practice to prevent injury. That left Griffin to experience live contact for the first time in the preseason, yet he did not play.
That meant the quarterback wouldn’t feel a defense hunting him down, and all the reactive movements he’d have to make, for the first time until Monday.
Griffin was knocked down seven times by the Eagles and sacked three times. Two of the more forceful hits came from linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who leveled the quarterback at the end of the second quarter on a play later ruled intentional grounding and then again at the end of the third quarter when he went unblocked.
“The knee feels fine,” Griffin said. “Typical soreness from getting hit. You know, Philly got me good a couple times, and that’s just the way it goes, but you just work those kinks out. As far as the knee goes, it was fine.”
The offense was a different story. It gained only 75 yards, picked up just two first downs and ran 21 plays in the first half, with Griffin completing just six of his first 15 passes and throwing two interceptions.
He also played a hand in the Eagles scoring a safety, with his pitch to Alfred Morris sailing wide of the running back’s right hand and landing in the end zone.
Philadelphia, meanwhile, ran 53 plays, gained 322 yards and picked up 21 first downs, leading to a 26-7 advantage at the break.
“That was our first game with Robert,” receiver Santana Moss said. “To be honest with you, I never expected more. I didn’t expect what happened to us, as far as the fumbles and all the other stuff and this and that. I didn’t expect that, but I didn’t expect us to go out there and look phenomenal. This is his first game, so you have to take a couple of bumps and bruises for him to get his rhythm, and once he got his rhythm, I said, ‘That’s just a start.’”
Griffin, who finished 30-for-49 for 329 yards with two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, remained adamant that he doesn’t want his recovery from surgery to be the reason for the Redskins’ poor start. He also, again, didn’t want to break down his technique or mechanics on Wednesday, insisting he felt fine.
“You know when your technique is sound,” Griffin said. “You know you throw the ball and you know what you have to do if you make a bad throw. You fix those things in practice. You fix them in a game, and that’s what we’re gonna do.”
➤ A version of this story appears in Thursday’s edition of The Free Lance-Star.
This report was originally posted on 9/11/13 at 4:44 p.m. and updated on 9/11/13 at 10:41 p.m.