By Chris Burke
December 09, 2012

Robert Griffin III suffered a knee injury in Sunday's 31-28 OT win over Baltimore, but that simply set the stage for Washington's other rookie QB to deliver his own signature moment.

Late in the fourth quarter, with Washington down eight, Griffin scrambled and, as he spun to the ground, took a shot from Baltimore DT Haloti Ngata. Ngata hit Griffin in the chest, but the force of the blow caused Griffin's right leg to whip around violently. Griffin's knee (the same knee that he tore an ACL in back in 2009) appeared to hyperextend, and the possible Offensive Rookie of the Year winner walked gingerly off the field.


After a brief conversation with the team's trainers, Griffin reentered the game, only to leave again a few plays later -- this time needing assistance to reach the bench after crumpling to the turf.

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said after the game that Griffin would require an MRI and that no further info on the injury would be available until then. Griffin headed into the Redskins' locker room momentarily before overtime, then stood on the sideline with his leg wrapped.

Hopefully, this situation does not turn out to be as serious as when Griffin injured himself while at Baylor, but he returned to action that day as well, leading four touchdown drives before coming out of the game for good at halftime. Afterward, Griffin expressed optimism that it wasn't an ACL injury, saying, "[it] shouldn't be an ACL. I know what that feels like." (UPDATE: The Redskins announced that an MRI of Griffin's knee found no damage to the ligaments, calling it a knee sprain.)

Baylor coasted to a win over Northwestern State that day; Griffin's team needed more of a boost from his backup Sunday.

Kirk Cousins proved up to the task. As Griffin lay on a table, surrounded by several Washington team doctors, [si_launchNFLPopup video='23d869b1d91a4534b72fc00d5f8d9f91']Cousins floated an 11-yard TD pass in to Pierre Garcon[/si_launchNFLPopup] with 29 seconds left, slicing Baltimore's tenuous lead to 28-26. Following a timeout, Cousins then forced overtime by running in a two-point conversion on a QB draw.

The Redskins did not need Cousins to do anything but hand off in overtime -- Richard Crawford (pick No. 213 in April) broke free for a 64-yard punt return to put Washington in field-goal range, and Kai Forbath drilled a 34-yarder for the win.

The Redskins improved to 7-6 with the victory, good enough to keep the heat on the Giants in the NFC East and stay in the wild-card race. Griffin's health will temper the celebration a bit, even if Cousins came through in the clutch.


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