- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 7, 2012

More than a few times Robert Griffin III has scared Washington Redskins fans by remaining on the ground after a hit. When he didn’t get up Sunday and it was clear he took a shoulder to the head, the fear became a reality.

Griffin suffered a concussion in the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons, the result of a hit from linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. How the Redskins knew their rookie quarterback couldn’t stay in the game was worse than just his getting up slowly.

“He wasn’t sure what quarter it was in the third quarter,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “So at that time when he wasn’t really sure what the score was, what quarter it was, we knew he had a mild concussion, at least according to the doctors.”

As part of NFL concussion protocol, Griffin was not permitted to speak with reporters. He did, however, take to Twitter to update his condition.

“Thank you for all the prayers & support,” he wrote. “I’m ok and I think after all the testing I will play next week.”

Shanahan made it clear that Griffin was doing better after the 24-17 loss, but even the declaration of a “mild” concussion can’t be misinterpreted as good news. Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby was initially diagnosed with that in the 2011 Winter Classic against the Capitals before missing over 10 months.

Griffin was examined on the sideline and then went into the locker room accompanied by team medical personnel. He saw a neurologist there and was treated for a cut on his chin, according to a team spokesman. He was then officially declared out for the game.

Griffin finished 10-for-15 for 91 yards. He was replaced by fellow rookie Kirk Cousins, who went 5-for-9 with a touchdown and two crucial interceptions.

Griffin’s long-term prognosis was not immediately clear. But what was especially worrisome to teammates was that Griffin did not remember the score or quarter.

“I’ve had concussions, obviously, in the league, but never to the point where I was unaware of what the situation was still going on around me,” linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. “Obviously, it’s a scary situation and hopefully he’s able to recover.”

Wide receiver Aldrick Robinson suffered a concussion prior to last week’s game at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when safety Brandon Meriweather collided with him. Griffin will have to go through the same sort of tests as Robinson, Shanahan said, but the symptoms may not be identical, given that concussions can vary for different people.

“I had instant memory. I didn’t forget nothing,” Robinson said. “I was scared last week and I remembered everything. If he forgot something, then that’s really scary.”

Robinson went unconscious for about a minute; he said he didn’t think Griffin was knocked out.

Still, he plans on talking to him about the concussion.

“When I talk to him, I’m going to see how he felt,” Robinson said. “I’m going to see how he felt to see what he did.”

Teammates voiced support for Cousins moving forward, but Shanahan did not declare the fifth-round pick out of Michigan State the starter against the Minnesota Vikings if Griffin cannot play.

“We’ll make decisions that we think will give us a better chance to win,” he said.

Obviously the Redskins have the best chance to win with the ball in Griffin’s hands. But players cautioned that this is not an injury that can be taken lightly.

“Just hopefully Robert is able to get back as quick as possible, but only when he’s completely healthy because once you get one concussion, they can occur rapidly if you go out there too soon,” Alexander said.



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