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“I would tell you I think there would always be a difference on that knee. The players he plays with and the players he plays against may not notice that, but you as a physician and trainer in examining that athlete will always sort of say, ‘Wow, it’s a little different than what it was,’” Carr said.

Added Siegel: “Whenever you have this done, you never have a normal knee. You never have a knee that’s 100 percent. You may have an athlete that gets back Adrian Peterson-style and is able to compete and looks good, but … I think it would be unusual for him to feel great, like he has a normal knee.”

Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton, New York Giants receiver Domenik Hixon and Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis each returned to the NFL after tearing one of their ACLs more than once.

Griffin aggravated his mildly sprained LCL in the first quarter of Sunday’s playoff loss to Seattle. Coach Mike Shanahan, however, said team doctors cleared Griffin to return.

Griffin also insisted on returning, and Shanahan allowed him to, saying Griffin had earned the right to determine his status because of how well he played during his rookie season and his knowledge of his own body.

Shanahan has been heavily scrutinized by local and national media for allowing Griffin to remain in the game. He talked to team doctors “three or four times” during the game about Griffin’s condition, he said Monday. Andrews was on the Redskins‘ sideline Sunday..

“Any time he gets hit, on the sideline I had all the doctors come up and we talked as a group,” Shanahan said.

Robert is our franchise quarterback, and I’m not going to take a chance on his career to win a game, but I also know that when you got the belief in a guy and you feel that he can play at a certain level and a doctor is telling you he’s OK to go in, then you’ve got to do what you think is right,” Shanahan said. “If I didn’t think it was right, he wouldn’t have been in there. It’s just that simple.”