It’s almost hard to remember back to four short years ago when Robert Griffin III was one of the most promising rookie athletes in all of American professional sports; because since then, his body has devolved into the biological equivalent of a house of cards. That’s why during the entirety of the off-season there was a looming, half-spoken doomed-ness to his “fresh start” with the Cleveland Browns.
Looks like we all may have jinxed him. Or perhaps – more likely and more disappointingly – he’s just too broken.
The Browns just announced that RGIII has been placed on injured reserve with a fractured coracoid bone in his left shoulder, presumably caused by this collision during the fourth quarter of their game against the Eagles:
RGIII getting medical attention following this hit because bruh. pic.twitter.com/AhTHoVfuON
— Troy Machir (@TroyMachir) September 11, 2016
According to the team, surgery is not currently required and Griffin’s left shoulder will be re-evaluated in 3-4 weeks. Bus his ‘Injured Reserve’ designation ensures that, per league rules, he will miss at least eight weeks.
The most unsettling thing about this injury is that by all accounts, it was unavoidable. RGIII is a running quarterback. Despite all efforts to make him into less of a liability, that is how he plays the game. His decision to scramble for the extra yardage on a third-and-14 made sense, and 9 times out of 10 he’s able to slide out of bounds rather than run head first into a DB standing there like a brick wall.
When healthy, those are the plays that showcase Griffin at his best because he’s damned good at them. Unfortunately it takes a whole lot of durability to play the position like that. Not only does he lack that durability, it appears that he has prematurely entered the Tony Romo stage of his career in which his pre-existing injuries have made it so that his body can no longer take a full-steam football hit.
This graphic from SportsInjuryPredictor.com gives a solid visual indication of just how fragile RGIII is, highlighting the areas of his body that have endured significant injury across his college and pro career:
It’s hardly a scientific analysis of Griffin’s injuries, but it allows us the opportunity to visualize all the places in which he is vulnerable; which just happens to be about everywhere that’s important to a football player. Compare that to Russell Wilson, a similar style of quarterback whose graphic shows area of concern in just his knee and his ankle. Those injuries were two sprains that were eight years apart.
At 26-years-old, Griffin is just too young to have that many significant injuries and to have missed so much regular season playing time. Barring a medically miraculous comeback, his chances of ever becoming consistently successful in the NFL are officially over – if they weren’t already.