CLEVELAND — Robert Griffin III wanted to play.
“I feel like I could play this week,” said Griffin, who twice mentioned his unhappiness with not playing in a four-minute postgame news conference.
The decision to hold out Griffin as he recovers from the mild sprain to his lateral collateral ligament in his right knee suffered last week didn’t make the quarterback happy. Coach Mike Shanahan said team doctors didn’t believe Griffin’s knee was healthy enough for game action.
“He did not want to let his teammates down,” Shanahan said. “At the end of the day, the doctor did not feel that he was ready. … The doctors are very impressed at how he’s coming along, but I can’t tell you anything [more] until the doctors clear him.”
Two-and-a-half hours before kickoff Sunday, Griffin went through a series of warm-ups at Cleveland Browns Stadium after being limited in practice all week. He looked healthy, other than a slight limp as he walked off the field with a large brace protecting his right knee. But the decision had been announced the night before to start fellow rookie Kirk Cousins.
Griffin’s status remains day to day.
Right tackle Tyler Polumbus‘ afternoon went from bad to worse. In the first half, Jabraal Sheard blew past him and sacked quarterback Kirk Cousins. Then Polumbus didn’t return in the second half after suffering a concussion. Veteran Jordan Black replaced him.
Per the NFL’s concussion protocol, players diagnosed with concussions aren’t permitted to speak to the media.
Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander received a scare of his own after crashing into Josh Gordon while making a tackle late in the second quarter. At first, Alexander thought he separated his right shoulder. Instead, the injury turned out to be a stinger.
Center Will Montgomery departed in the game’s final minutes with a left knee injury. Guard Kory Lichtensteiger switched from guard to center to replace him. After the game, Montgomery walked without a limp.
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