Redskins star Griffin's injury not serious
Washington team's unexpected win over Baltimore Ravens clouded by Griffin's knee injury, but tests show the star will soon be back on field
Robert Griffin III walked gingerly through the Washington Redskins' locker room, his sprained right knee in a big black brace.
His teammates stood at their lockers, mixing together the emotions of an improbable 31-28 overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens with the fear that their franchise player could be seriously hurt.
"We're happy that we won, obviously," left tackle Trent Williams said. "But it is concerning, knowing he went down. Everyone wants to know how he's doing."
Griffin went down during Washington's final drive of regulation, with the Redskins trailing by eight. Fellow rookie Kirk Cousins, who had played in only one other game this season, stepped in and hit Pierre Garcon for an 11-yard touchdown pass with 29 seconds remaining, then ran the quarterback draw for the two-point conversion to tie the game.
Yet another rookie, Richard Crawford, returned a punt 64 yards in overtime to set up Kai Forbath's 34-yard game-winning field goal. The Redskins (7-6) have a four-game winning streak - remaining one game behind the New York Giants in the race for the NFC East title - but the day's most important result was still to come.
About three hours after the game ended, the Redskins said an MRI exam showed no major ligament damage.
The worst-case scenario would have been a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament tear, like the one Griffin had on the same knee while playing for Baylor in 2009. But team spokesman Tony Wyllie said the MRI showed "everything is clear" and ruled out that sort of significant injury.
Griffin had been confident his injury wasn't serious. "I'm not a doctor, but I know what an ACL feels like," Griffin said immediately after the game. "And it doesn't feel like an ACL. If I felt that, I'd be pretty nervous. But we won the game, everybody's praying for me, I feel pretty good right now about the whole situation."
With the Redskins trailing 28-20 after Ray Rice's seven-yard touchdown run with four minutes 47 seconds to play, Griffin started moving his team before he was tackled by Haloti Ngata at the end of a 13-yard scramble.
"I knew as soon as I got hit. I screamed. Like a man, of course," Griffin added with a laugh. "It hurt really bad."
Griffin left for one play, then returned for four more, completing two passes to get the Redskins deep into Ravens territory. But he was also hopping on one leg. Eventually, he fell to the turf and could no longer continue.
"I knew I needed to get out at that point," Griffin said. "I couldn't move. At some point you have to do what's right for the team. And if I'm playing the rest of that game, I probably would have hurt myself even more."
Meanwhile the Dallas Cowboys, grieving the death of reserve Jerry Brown in a car crash with teammate Josh Brent at the wheel, beat Cincinnati to keep their play-off hopes alive.
Brent, who had moved into a starting role at nose tackle with Jay Ratliff nursing an injury, was arrested and charged with drink driving manslaughter in the Dallas suburb of Irving on Saturday in the wake of the one-car crash that cost Brown his life.
"We obviously had a very difficult situation, a tragedy, happen to our football team," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said.
"It's been really emotional for everybody. All we asked our team was... to some how, some way, channel all the emotions they had into honouring Jerry in their performance."
Associated Press, Agence France-Presse