Aug 19, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins inside linebacker London Fletcher (59) is introduced prior to the Redskins game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Over the last couple of seasons injuries for the Washington Redskins haven’t been kind, as many starters have been lost, or at least missed the majority of the season. While the medical staff is sometimes looked at as a key contributor for their inability to find things wrongs, such as with Pierre Garcon’s injury last season, players might be just as much so in the wrong.
Most recent Robert Griffin III told doctors and head coach Mike Shanahan that he was fine to play, and that obviously wasn’t the case, but what about other players? It was reported that London Fletcher suffered a concussion last season, yet failed to notify the team doctors nor the head coach.
While Fletcher will be looked at as a warrior and an old school player who is willing to play through anything, the question is how smart are the players? Not only do these injuries have long-term issues, especially after football, but what about being there for your team? Missing the remaining half of a game is certainly better than being lost for weeks or even the season, all due to something so small as to report a problem.
Fletcher did have balance issues last season, but could that have been the result of the concussion he sustained and failed to report to the team? Mike Shanahan doesn’t believe that’s the case, but certainly team doctors should have figured out something was wrong.
Jul 26, 2013; Richmond, VA, USA; Washington Redskins inside linebacker London Fletcher (59) walks off the field after practice during 2013 NFL training camp at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
"“I recall with London it was more of a balance issue. He wasn’t really sure exactly what it was. He got a lot of tests. I know he got a lot of tests and at the end of the day, I think it was a different experience for him because he is old school. He hasn’t had very many injuries that would set him back, and to have an injury like that where you’re not really sure what it is, something you haven’t experienced, I think it was really tough on him. He did everything he could to get the proper attention, but I think it was tough on him for a while because he wasn’t really sure what it was,” Mike Shanahan told reporters."
The interesting part is the answer Mike Shanahan gave when asked about convincing younger players to report injuries:
"“It’s much different now in comparison to what it was. I think you just said it right there. I remember a number of quarterbacks come to the sideline and you knew there was something wrong. They’d give him the old one-two-three finger test and they’d go back out there. Times have changed. The education has changed for the right reasons. And so if anybody experiences something like that, we have a procedure to go through and hopefully it’ll help these guys in the future.”"
If times have changed as much as Mike Shanahan claims, and the eduction is much different, than why wouldn’t he, nor team doctors see that Robert Griffin III sustained a concussion during the Atlanta Falcons game? Or furthermore, why did Fletcher’s concussion go unnoticed (had it not been for him reporting on it, it still wouldn’t be known).
While safety for players is at an all-time high in the NFL, it appears the Washington Redskins still continue to not take it seriously. The miss diagnosis and injuries to go untreated are a prime example, making Washington a dangerous place to play.