Maybe now Robert Griffin III will focus of sliding or running out of bounds when he leaves the pocket. For, Sunday in losing to the undefeated Atlanta Falcons, the Washington Redskins’ prized rookie quarterback was smashed by linebacker Shawn Witherspoon and knocked him out of the game.
Griffin took a violent, legal hit to the head in the third quarter as he tried to score by the sideline near the Atlanta end zone. He lay on the field for a few minutes, but then walked off under his own power before heading into the lockerroom.
The diagnosis was a concussion. Washington had to rely on a less-heralded rookie, Kirk Cousins, to bring them back. Cousins delivered a 77-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss that put the Redskins in front briefly. But Cousins threw two interceptions in the game’s final two possession, and the Falcons earned a 24-17 victory at FedEx Stadium outside of Washington, D.C.
“We knew he had a mild concussion, at least according to the doctors. It feels good right now, a lot better right now,” coach Mike Shanahan said after the game. “But that was the situation and why he didn’t go back into the game.”
Griffin’s status for next week is uncertain.
“He’ll have to go through a number of tests before he’s cleared,” Shanahan said. “Then we’ll find out as time goes by and see how he does on those tests.”
Meanwhile, the Falcons are 5-0 for the first time in franchise history. Quarterback Matt Ryan had trouble early against the Washington defense, including an interception to lineman Ryan Kerrigan who returned it 28 yards for a touchdown, giving the Redskins a 7-0 lead. Ryan also had a fumble that stalled a Falcons drive.
However, Ryan found his rhythm and heavily relied on tight end Tony Gonzalez and receiver Julio Jones to move the ball up and down the field. After Moss’ long touchdown to put Washington in front 17-14, Matt Bryant hit on a 52-yard field goal to tie the game.
Then, after Dante Robinson intercepted a Cousins pass, Michael Turner eventually burst through for a 13-yard touchdown run for the final margin of victory.
Ryan was 34-for-52 for 332 yards and two touchdowns for the Falcons, who host the Oakland Raiders next week.