After trying to gut through a right knee injury for most of Sunday's wild card playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III left the game and did not return following a non-contact injury with 6:19 left in the fourth quarter.
On second-and-22 from his own 12-yard line and the Redskins trailing 21-14, Griffin's knee buckled as he tried to field a low snap, and he immediately went down in a heap. After a few minutes on the turf near the Redskins' 5-yard line, Griffin was helped up and walked off the field under his own power, though with a visible limp.
Griffin had been sacked by Bruce Irvin for a loss of 12 yards and had his knee bend back awkwardly on the previous play. Earlier in the game, after a 4-yard touchdown pass to Logan Paulsen gave Washington a 14-0 first-quarter lead, Griffin briefly left the field to have his knee examined in the Redskins locker room, but returned for the next drive.
The state of Griffin's knee has been a cause for concern for the Redskins. In the fourth quarter of Washington's overtime win over Baltimore on Dec. 9, Griffin suffered an injury to the knee, which was later determined to be a sprain. After sitting out one play, Griffin returned to the field for a couple snaps before leaving the game for good.
On Sunday, Dr. James Andrews, a renowned sports surgeon and one of Washington's team physicians, told USA Today that he never cleared Griffin to re-enter that Dec. 9 game and expressed concern that Griffin, who tore the right ACL in 2009 while still playing at Baylor, could reinjure the knee.
"I've been a nervous wreck letting him come back as quick as he has," Andrews told the paper. "He's doing a lot better this week, but he's still recovering and I'm holding my breath because of it. He passed all the tests and all the functional things we do, but it's been a trying moment for me, to be honest with you."
Griffin was 10 of 19 for 84 yards Sunday, but after the first quarter he threw for only 16 yards plus an interception. The Redskins quarterback also ran three times for 12 yards.