‘‘I don’t sit down with him and say, ‘Hey, did you give him a proper evaluation?'’’ Shanahan said. ‘‘I ask him, ‘Is it OK if he goes back in the game?’ He says yes or no. He said yes.’’
Either way, the various versions of what happened cast more intrigue on the protocol NFL teams use to determine whether someone is fit to keep playing. Redskins left guard Kory Lichtensteiger had to leave Sunday’s game in the first quarter because he could no longer play on a sprained left ankle that kept him out of practice all week.
‘‘I went out there,’’ Lichtensteiger said. ‘‘But, in hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have done it.’’
Griffin’s injury and the playoff loss put a damper on the end of one of the best Redskins seasons in two decades. Washington rallied from a 3-6 start to win the NFC East after four straight last-place finishes. Assuming Griffin’s knee will again be fully healthy, the future looks brighter than at any time since the Super Bowl era under coach Joe Gibbs in the 1980s and early 1990s.
‘‘I think people have really learned around here — if you’re down by seven, people aren’t packing it in,’’ said safety Reed Doughty, wrapping up his seventh season in Washington. ‘‘People aren’t getting that ‘Oh, the way things used to be’ kind of feeling.’’
Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL