Renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who is also the Washington Redskins' team doctor, said he never gave clearance for quarterback Robert Griffin III to go back and play after he suffered a grisly knee injury against Baltimore on Dec. 9.
Andrews said Griffin still has not fully recovered and Andrews is a "nervous wreck" watching him play because he fears Griffin could suffer an injury that will do more harm to his leg, jeopardizing his health and future in the league.
Andrews told USA Today that is up to the Redskins and the NFL to ensure Griffin is "OK for the next 15 years."
"That's what you have to watch out for for players, because they don't know," Andrews said.
After barely being able to walk off the field against the Ravens in the fourth quarter on Dec. 9, Griffin limped back onto the field and for four plays before taking himself back out of the game. Andrews said he was the one who "finally shut him down" that day.
Shanahan told reporters Andrews had told him Griffin could go back and play.
Andrews said Griffin "didn't even let us look at him."
"He came off the field, walked through the sidelines, circled back through the players, and took off back to the field. It wasn't our opinion," Andrews said. "Scared the hell out of me."
Andrews said he has been "holding my breath" and it is a "trying moment" when he watches Griffin play injured.
"I've been a nervous wreck letting him come back as quick as he has," Andrews said. "He's doing a lot better this week, but he's still recovering and I'm holding my breath because of it."
As USA Today noted, the Redskins had already been criticized for how they handled Griffin's concussion earlier in the season:
Shanahan and the team were criticized and fined earlier this season for the handling of another Griffin injury. The team described Griffin III as being "shaken up" immediately after he suffered a concussion in Week 5 against the Atlanta Falcons. The NFL fined the Redskins $20,000 for not properly informing the media of the injury