The Philadelphia Eagles suffered when Andy Reid put too much trust in Michael Vick and mismanaged him. However, as incompetent as the Eagles often looked thanks to Reid and Vick, even they didn’t humiliate themselves like Mike Shanahan did when he misused Robert Griffin III on Jan. 6 in Washington.
Shanahan and the Washington Redskins are under intense fire, for leaving a limping Griffin in too long against the Seattle Seahawks in their wild card playoff game. Not only did it lead to the Redskins’ 24-14 loss, it led to Griffin hurting his knee again late in the fourth quarter.
LeSean McCoy already got sidelined for several weeks when he was hurt on FedEx Field’s questionable grass on Nov. 18. Back then, Reid was heavily criticized for leaving McCoy in that long in a meaningless game. In contrast, Shanahan left Griffin in too long in a very meaningful game that was still in doubt, but the outcome was even worse.
It appears that head coaches in the NFC East don’t know how to protect mobile but fragile quarterbacks. Reid’s great error was making Vick throw 40-50 times a game and not giving him a good offensive line, which crippled the Eagles for the last two seasons. But even he didn’t handle Vick as questionably, and perhaps as criminally, as Shanahan has handled Griffin in the last month.
A USA TODAY report came out before the Redskins-Seahawks game, shedding new light on when Griffin first hurt his knee on Dec. 9. After that hit, Shanahan left his quarterback in for a few more plays anyway, claiming he was cleared by team doctor James Andrews. Yet Andrews told USA TODAY that he never cleared Griffin and never got to examine him, and was “scared to death” of him playing again this season even before yesterday.
If these reports pan out, especially in the wake of this new injury, there is no reason in good conscience why the Redskins shouldn’t fire Shanahan immediately. And if Andrews’ claims are true, commissioner Roger Goodell may need to think about suspending Shanahan himself, if he really wants to tighten the standards for letting injured players play again.
The Eagles let Reid mismanage Vick to the point where both men, not to mention the franchise, suffered greatly. But the Redskins truly can’t afford to let Shanahan do the same to Griffin, if he hasn’t already.