Dr. Neal ElAttrache is a renown orthopedic surgeon and also the man who repaired Tom Brady’s knee when he tore his ACL so he knows a little about putting a quarterback together.
When speaking to USA Today yesterday, he agreed that Robert Griffin III can return for the start of the 2013 NFL season, but that the Redskins must change their offense and how Griffin III plays to protect him.
“There’s a good chance that he’s going to be an impact player again, there’s also a very good chance that it’s going to be with a slightly different style of play,” said ElAttrache, an orthopedic surgeon at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopeadic Clinic in Los Angeles. “I don’t think he’ll be 100% in six months or nine months.
“I do think he’ll play in the 2013 season, however. I do not think he will be playing the same way he was playing this year, and whether that’s a permanent play-style change he makes or not remains to be seen.
: “If there is a silver lining to this injury, it may end up prolonging RGIII’s career. From his ability to play and survive in the NFL, coming back from this injury, he will need some evolution in his game.”
“If you look at how he was playing and what was happening to him, RGIII barely made it out of this season without another concussion,” ElAttrache said. “If you look at how he went about playing his position, the longevity of a guy like that is not the same as a pro-style (more pocket-based) quarterback.
“Look at the longevity of a running back in the NFL compared to a pro-style quarterback who plays the game like a Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, like an Aaron Rodgers. Look at how much shorter the lifespan is for a running back. It would be unreasonable to think that you’d be able to play 16-game regular seasons, plus postseasons and preseasons, playing the way RGIII has and center your franchise around that guy.
“Unless you have another two guys who can play like him, what are you doing?’
“Tom (Brady) is as mobile now as he was before his 2008 ACL injury,” ElAttrache said. “But he was never doing the things at his position that a guy like RGIII was. That’s the other ingredient in RGIII’s return to play — exactly what demands is that particular player going to be putting on that injured part?
“Luckily enough, he’s a great enough talent, he’s got a great arm, he’s very smart and he’s learned how to read NFL defensess quicker than any rookie quarterback who’s come into the league. And he’s still very mobile.
“He’s got so many facets to his game. He’s still going to be an impact quarterback, somebody the Redskins and their fans can look forward to seeing play and lead their team. He’s going to be fine.”
I agree with the doctor. We always talk about how much different Griffin III is from Michael Vick, but if he’s not protected then he’ll eventually become a battered quarterback who specials skills get diminished.