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The errant shotgun snap from center Will Montgomery in the fourth quarter. Griffin’s scramble for the ball amid the field’s divots and potholes. The right leg planting, then collapsing. Never mind the bulky black brace. That moment frozen in photographs and slow-motion replays, where the knee of the franchise’s savior is twisted at a sickening, unnatural angle.

Griffin’s description of the since-redone turf as “part of our homefield advantage.”

The postgame second-guessing that bled into month after month of the offseason. Dr. James Andrews. Shanahan. Even Griffin, trying to lose himself in the invented semantics of playing hurt versus playing injured.

The game’s shadow remains. That can start to dissipate Monday night. The bucket hat and self-proclaimed ‘Operation Patience’ as Griffin watched the four preseason games from the sidelines are gone. The games, the real ones, are back.

And hope, once again, will follow the quarterback onto FedEx Field. Hope that this time is different.