There is no defense for Mike Shanahan. Unless they're carted off, football players will try to play. They'll try to play with concussions, and they'll try to play with torn knee ligaments. When they play with torn knee ligaments, they'll run the read options and naked bootlegs sent in from the sideline. If they can't plant to throw, they'll try to plant and throw anyway. The only way to stop them is to take them out of games.
That was what Shanahan should have done with Robert Griffin at halftime, at the latest. Griffin threw for 84 yards in Sunday's 24-14 loss to the Seahawks, but only 16 after the first quarter. He was clearly hobbled -- though Shanahan said he saw otherwise -- but the Redskins ran a gameplan unbecoming of a man playing on such a bulky knee brace. His starting quarterback, the quarterback Washington traded three first-round picks for the privilege of selection, was on one leg, and Shanahan rode him until he could no longer stand.
If the NFL is going to masquerade as if player safety is one of its biggest concerns, the league is going to have to realize concussions aren't the only injuries players shouldn't play through. And head-hunting defenders aren't the only ones who show blatant disrespect for the health of players.
SBNations Bomani Jones
Posted on 1/7/2013