NFL Notebook

Notes: Redskins not optimistic about Robert Griffin III

Robert Griffin III twisted his ailing right knee in the first quarter Sunday and left for good after injuring it again in the final minutes.
L. Todd Spencer/Associated Press
Robert Griffin III twisted his ailing right knee in the first quarter Sunday and left for good after injuring it again in the final minutes.

It doesn’t sound good for Robert Griffin III.

An injury that sidelines RG3 well into next season is a very real possibility — or at least it seemed that way Monday after coach Mike Shanahan described the results of tests on the rookie’s right knee.

Shanahan said the results are prompting the team to send Griffin to Florida on Tuesday to see renowned orthopedist James Andrews for more examinations, essentially a second opinion that will decide the team’s fate for the 2013 season.


‘‘There is a concern,’’ Shanahan said. ‘‘That’s why he’s going to see him.’’

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The Washington Post, citing several people with knowledge of the results, reported the MRI suggests partial tears of his ACL and LCL.

Griffin tore his ACL while playing for Baylor in 2009, and Shana­han said that old injury caused Griffin’s latest MRI to prove inconclusive and produce ‘‘differences of opinion’’ in those who have looked at it.

‘‘They want to take another look and have a physical exam with him,’’ Shanahan said, ‘‘to make sure they’re not looking at old injuries.’’

A torn ACL typically requires a rehabilitation period of 9-12 months, although some players don’t return to full health until their second season after the injury. On the other hand, Adrian Peterson returned about eight months after tearing an ACL and nearly broke the NFL’s season rushing record this year.


Shanahan was grilled about his handling of Griffin’s injury. Already playing with a heavy black brace in his third game since spraining a lateral collateral ligament, Griffin hurt the knee again when he fell awkwardly while throwing a pass in the first quarter of Sunday’s 24-14 playoff loss to the Seahawks. Griffin stayed in the game, but he was far from his usual self, clearly favoring the knee and unable to run with the world-class speed that helped define his play early in the season.

Then, in the fourth quarter with the Redskins trailing by 7, the knee buckled the wrong way when Griffin tried to field a bad shotgun snap. The Seahawks recovered the fumble, setting up a short field goal that sealed the win.

Shanahan said he thought he made the ‘‘right decisions’’ to keep Griffin in the game and that it would be ‘‘crazy’’ to think he would purposely sacrifice Griffin’s career to win a game. He said he did not talk to team doctors initially after Griffin was hurt in the first quarter, instead relying on Griffin’s word.

‘‘I went up to Robert. I said, ‘You OK?’ ’’ Shanahan said. ‘‘And he said, ‘I’m fine.’ ’’

Griffin was also feeling the criticism for not taking himself out. He did not appear in the locker room during the two hours it was open to reporters Monday but made public statements via Twitter.


‘‘Many may question, criticize & think they have all the right answers. But few have been in the line of fire in battle. . . . When adversity strikes you respond in one of two ways. You step aside and give in or you step up and fight,’’ Griffin tweeted.

Also coming under fire was the condition of the turf at FedEx Field after Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons also suffered a serious knee injury.

‘‘It was horrible,’’ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “It’s a horrible field. It’s as bad as a field can get for being dry. We deserve better.’’

The field has looked scraggly for much of a season that was front-loaded with extra non-Redskins events.

‘‘You’d like a perfect field, and it wasn’t a perfect field, we all know that,’’ Shanahan said.

Seahawks’ Clemons out

A league source told CBS Sports that Clemons’s MRI revealed a torn ACL, which means his season is over as the Seahawks prepare to face the NFC’s top-seeded Falcons this weekend. Clemons was not hit on the play in which he was injured and appeared to get his cleats caught in the turf at FedEx Field. Clemons led Seattle with 11½ sacks in the regular season. Kicker Steven Hauschka also suffered a calf strain but Carroll said Hauschka felt better Monday . . . Injured Broncos running back Willis McGahee won’t play this week against the Ravens in an AFC divisional game but hopes to be ready if Denver advances to the AFC title game the following week. McGahee tore a ligament in his right knee Nov. 18 . . . Coach Jim Harbaugh said there’s a ‘‘good chance’’ kickers David Akers and Billy Cundiff will both be on the roster Saturday when the 49ers host the Packers in an NFC divisional game. The 49ers signed Cundiff Jan. 1 to compete with Akers, who has made just 29 of 42 field goals this season after connecting on 44 of 52 in 2011.

Eagles eye Jay Gruden

The Eagles received permission to interview Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jay Gruden for their coaching vacancy. Gruden, the younger brother of Jon Gruden, just finished his second season with the Bengals. He previously served as an offensive assistant on his brother’s staff in Tampa Bay from 2002-08. The Eagles have already interviewed five candidates to replace Andy Reid, who was fired after 14 seasons. They’re planning to meet this week with Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and Indianapolis offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who returned to Indianapolis after being released from a Baltimore hospital following a 36-hour stay for an undisclosed illness. Without Arians, quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen called the plays in the 24-9 season-ending loss to the Ravens . . . . . . After a weekend rife with rumors and speculation, Chip Kelly has taken a pass on the NFL and will return as coach of the Oregon Ducks. Kelly met with the Browns last Friday, the Eagles on Saturday, and also reportedly spoke with the Bills . . . A person familiar with the interview said the Browns will meet with Marc Trestman, coach of the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes . . . Reid was introduced in Kansas City as the new coach of the Chiefs. Reid said he’s met with the current Chiefs assistant coaches, but would not say whether any of them will be retained. Reid did say he plans to bring along some of his staff from Philadelphia, with quarterbacks coach Doug Pederson in contention to be named offensive coordinator . . . The Bills introduced new coach Doug Marrone, the team’s fifth in 12 years. The former Syracuse coach takes over for Chan Gailey.

Study cites depression

Former NFL players suffer more depression than ordinary people, according to research that may explain recent suicides in the group, including former All-Pro linebacker Junior Seau last year. In a study of 34 retired NFL players, about 25 percent suffered with clinical depression, higher than the 15 percent seen in the general population. The research, published in the journal JAMA Neurology, also found physical abnormalities in the brains of some the athletes in medical scans . . . Matt Cavanaugh will not return as the Jets’ quarterbacks coach after four seasons with the team. Cavanaugh was responsible for the development of Mark Sanchez, who took a step back in his fourth season and was benched late in the year . . . Cowboys running backs coach Skip Peete won’t return following the worst 16-game rushing season in team history. Dallas finished next-to-last in the NFL with 1,265 yards . . . The Colts signed seven players to futures contracts, including former Merrimack linebacker Shawn Loiseau and running back Davin Meggett, son of former Patriot and New York Giant David Meggett. Both players were on Indy’s practice squad last week.