SHANNON SHARPE, BILL COWHER AND BOOMER ESIASON FOR DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF WEEK ON JANUARY 12
► BILL COWHER ADDRESSES HIS FUTURE ON “THE NFL TODAY” ON SATURDAY
Contrary to reports, I have no plans on coaching. I plan on being with one team, and that is this team here at CBS. I know we are going to the Super Bowl. And now it is time to talk about the journey that each of these teams are taking to get there as well.
► DR. NEAL ELATTRACHE’S PROGNOSIS ON ROBERT GRIFFIN III’s KNEE INJURY
ELATTRACHE: It’s (RGIII’s lateral ligament repair surgery) going to delay that aggressiveness of physical therapy that would normally occur with an ACL reconstruction. And so on the backend, it remains to be seen how quickly he’ll be able to come back if he’s ready for the beginning of the season.
REACTION ON REPORT OF RGIII’S INJURY
BOOMER ESIASON: I have a problem with all of this because it was obvious to all of us who watched that game at the end of the first quarter RGIII hurt his knee worse. He also had a conversation with one of his teammates on the sideline about how he hurt it. And to me, Dr. James Andrews, one of the renown orthopedists in the country is standing right there on the sideline. He’s the doctor. He sees his patient out there. And Mike Shanahan can obviously see that RGIII can no longer play effectively like he was playing prior to this injury. I think both of those men deserve, do you want to say blame, do you want to say it’s negligent for allowing this young man to be on this field to play? Remember this, I understand that players want to play. He’s 22-years-old. He was made captain after their bye week. Remember the pressure that comes along with that. We always talk about coaches and doctors and trainers on the sideline protecting the players from themselves. Neither three of those entities worked in this case.
I still say the decision to allow that young man to play after the first quarter was a significant, significant mistake.
BILL COWHER: There is a certain protocol. Certainly as coach, as you’re sitting there amidst everything that is going on you have one thing, I had one thing, the trainer. The trainer then went to the player and then pulled in an orthopedic doctor if needed. We saw RGIII leave that game, go back behind that door and not know what was done. The only thing Mike Shanahan says to his trainer, is he able to go back and play? And that is based on number one, is there risk for further injury? As he goes back in there, Mike Shanahan just wants to know, can he play? And is there a risk for further injury? I have to know. Then you go to the player. Do you want to play? If he goes back in, then the third part of this is, is he able to play at a level that allows us, that is my best option.
…Boomer to your point, the culture is changing. We clearly have to err on the side of safety. The League should look at making more players available on game day. Because it will then take the pressure off of having to put guys back in the game, beforehand. You should always have a third quarterback. Have three more players. Because those decisions are made, when you take a player out, he feels like he’s letting down his teammates. With more players, there’s less pressure on the player, the doctors and the coach.
DR. ELATTRACHE ON RECENT BRAIN TRAUMA STUDY
► INSIDE INFORMATION WITH JASON LA CANFORA
(On criticism of field conditions in Washington last week and whether NFL will institute new rules regarding such)
There will be a movement afoot. Obviously we saw Chris Clemons go down with an ACL injury, non-contact ACL injury, and RGIII, the same thing, a non-contact injury for him as well. I talked to people with the League who say they will review the entire field policy moving forward and quote, ‘are likely to expand the monitoring and enforcement standard. Now as it stands, 72 hours before the game the League certifies whether or not this field can be used. The NFLPA has asked to see the certificate from this particular game. They want to see if all these parameters were met. I’m told as of this morning they had not received that from the League yet. They’re going to continue to push this as a health and safety issue. The competition committee will talk about this at the ownership meeting in March. So there probably will be positive change.
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