The surgery has been completed. Now, the waiting and speculation begins.
Washington's rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III needed the ACL on his right knee reconstructed and the lateral collateral ligament repaired, putting him in jeopardy of missing the beginning of the 2013 season.
The surgery was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla. He said in a written statement that Griffin had a direct repair of his LCL and a redo of his previous ACL reconstruction.
"We expect a full recovery, and it is everybody's hope and belief that due to Robert's high motivation, he will be ready for the 2013 season," Andrews said in the statement. "The goal of his treatment is to give him the best opportunity for a long professional career."
Neither Andrews nor anyone from the Redskins' organization was available to discuss the surgery and the timetable for Griffin's recovery.
If Griffin had needed his LCL reconstructed, there's a significant chance he would have missed some of if not the entire 2013 season. In addition, because Andrews used a graft from Griffin's left knee, according to ESPN, then the quarterback will be required to rehab that knee also. However, it's not expected to lengthen his recovery. Regardless, it's a major blow to the enthusiasm that enveloped the team after a 10-6 regular season record and their first NFC East championship since 1999.
Many Redskins fans are still asking: when exactly did Griffin's ACL tear occur? Was it torn at all prior to Sunday's playoff loss to Seattle? Or did the injury happen during that game – there were two plays in which he got injured, including with 6:25 remaining when he was helped from the field and did not return.
Griffin hurt his LCL during a December 9th game against Baltimore at the end of a third-down play when defensive tackle Haloti Ngata hit him while the leg was extended in the air. Griffin was sidelined for one game but played the final three, including Sunday's playoff game loss to Seattle. That's when he injured it again. After a first-quarter play in which he planted and threw back across his body, Griffin limped back to the huddle.
Then, in the fourth quarter, he was sacked on a bootleg play in which his leg bent back. On the next play, standing in shotgun formation, his knee buckled as he reached for an errant snap.