=== Extra Points: 'Skins should sit RG3 for now ===
By John McMullen, NFL Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - You would be hard pressed to find anyone
in any field with a more impressive resume than Dr. James Andrews, the famed
orthopedic surgeon who also moonlights as one of the team doctors for the
Andrews has been the go-to guy for just about every major professional sports
star who needed knee, elbow or shoulder surgery over the past 20 years.
He's the artist who reconstructed Adrian Peterson's knee so well that the
reigning NFL MVP was back on a football field in just over eight months,
looking stronger that he was before. And let's remember A.P. not only tore his
ACL, he also damaged his MCL, LCL and meniscus.
But Peterson's amazing recovery should have been the exception to the rule,
not the new norm.
Instead it's become the definitive timetable -- just ask NBA star Derrick
Rose, who got killed for sitting out the 2012-13 season after tearing his ACL
in the playoffs during the prior campaign.
Peterson's miraculous comeback was the perfect storm, though. Andrews himself
said the All-Pro's knee was "pristine" when he opened it up and A.P. has
always been one of the hardest-working men in show business, a player who took
to rehabilitation like a fish to water.
In the past, an ACL tear took a full calendar year to rehabilitate and many
medical professionals, including Andrews, would argue a patient needed a full
24 months before he was back to full strength, both physically and mentally.
"I say an athlete after (an) ACL (tear) is much better the second year back
than the first year back," Andrews said. "First year back is a wash. After 24
months, (an athlete is) a lot more mature and confident."
Andrews even admitted that Peterson was an anomaly.
"He has defied all odds," Andrews told the St. Paul Pioneer Press when talking
about Peterson. "If you operate on the right athlete, it makes you look pretty
darn good as a physician. Adrian was that genetic athlete who could do what
Robert Griffin III will try to emulate Peterson on Monday and actually attempt
to beat the veteran superstar's ridiculous healing timetable by two weeks when
he starts under center for the Redskins as they open the 2013 NFL season by
hosting NFC East-rival Philadelphia on "Monday Night Football."
The reigning NFL Rookie of the Year, of course, spearheaded Washington's 2012
revival, but was knocked out of a wild card game versus the Seattle Seahawks
with tears to both the lateral collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments in
his right knee on Jan. 6.
RG3 targeted training camp to get back to work and had to be held back a
bit for his own good, creating some friction with his head coach Mike
Shanahan, something Griffin had to address and quash.
"I just want everybody to know that if there's any questions about a rift
between me and coach, or if there's a conflict, there is no conflict. Coaches
coach, I'm a player," RG3 said. "Coach has a plan and I'm abiding by that
plan. I'm doing everything that they ask me to do. I trust those guys. They
want me to have a long career and that's what this part of this plan is
RG3 dubbed Shanahan's plan "Operation Patience," but playing eight months after
an ACL and LCL tear doesn't exactly scream moderation.
Despite all the red flags, Griffin was cleared to play in Week 1, something
Shanahan confirmed early this week with one caveat: "unless there's some crazy
setback that we don't anticipate."
If I'm Shanahan, I'm actively looking for that "crazy setback."
According to Shanahan, Andrews had "a couple of concerns" before clearing
Griffin, and all reports indicate those concerns revolved around how RG3 is
going to be used. My guess is Andrews is comfortable enough with Griffin
dropping back and throwing the football but doesn't want the dynamic second-
year star running too much read-option.
But play-calling is not Andrews' domain -- a team doctor's primary function
in sports is a simple one, evaluating if a player is healthy enough to get
back into action.
That said, being cleared to play in an NFL game isn't a firm declaration
stating the player is at 100 percent.
Shanahan should weigh Andrews' reservations very carefully and handing the
keys to Kirk Cousins for a month or so before giving them back to RG3 for the
next 10 years or so is not only the prudent decision here, it's the most
For every Peterson, there are dozens of players who never return to their
prior form after tearing their ACLs and RG3 has done it twice now.
Meanwhile, Andrews' own words should be on a constant earworm-like loop in
"He (Peterson) has defied all odds."
Do those same odds says RG3 is another "right athlete?"
Shanahan's future employment depends on it.
09/03 12:45:15 ET