Dr. James Andrews told USA Today on Sunday that he never cleared Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III to return to a game following a brutal collision in which he suffered a knee injury.
Andrews’ comments directly contradict those made by head coach Mike Shanahan after the Redskins’ Dec. 9 game against the Baltimore. When asked by reporters the next day why he decided to let Griffin go back in the game, he said he only did so because Andrews cleared him.
“He’s the one that gives me that information,” Shanahan said on Dec. 10. “It’s way over my head.”
But Andrews said he never cleared Griffin to reenter the game. In fact, he said, Griffin “didn’t even let us look at him.”
“He came off the field, walked through the sidelines, circled back through the players and took off back to the field. It wasn’t our opinion,” Andrews said.
“We didn’t even get to touch him or talk to him. Scared the hell out of me.”
After the collision, Griffin went back into the game for four plays before removing himself in obvious pain. Backup quarterback Kirk Cousins took over and led the team to an overtime victory.
Andrews admitted that he is still worried about Griffin’s health and concerned that the team might have rushed their star rookie back too quickly.
“I’m the one that shut him down that day, finally,” Andrews said. “I’ve been a nervous wreck letting him come back as quick as he has. He’s doing a lot better this week, but he’s still recovering and I’m holding my breath because of it.
“He passed all the tests and all the functional things we do, but it’s been a trying moment for me, to be honest with you.”