After storming out to a successful rookie campaign in 2012, Robert Griffin III has struggled mightily in the first two weeks of the 2013 season, and the Redskins have suffered, falling 0-2.
RGIII was held out of game action during the preseason, but one of his teammates doesn’t believe that a little bit of rust is to blame for the sluggish start from his signal caller. Instead, he points to something that has altered Griffin’s running game.
“Robert obviously can’t run as fast as he did last year because of his knee brace and his knee,” Garcon told ESPN980 Radio on Tuesday. “But it’s the same offense, to be honest with you. It’s nothing different. It hasn’t changed at all.”
What has changed, however, is how often Griffin is attempting to rush. In 2012, Griffin recorded 124 yards on the ground in the first two weeks, compared to only 25 total yards thus far in 2013. Garcon believes the brace on the quarterback’s surgically repaired right knee is impacting his run game, and it’s making him a less effective rusher.
“Well, when you’re walking around with a knee brace or playing with a knee brace, obviously it’s slowing you down a little bit,” Garcon said. “It’s just natural. I don’t know how much it weighs, exactly, but you always think about it when you have it on there, and it’s a constant reminder.
Griffin led the league in rushing last year with 833 yards, but he currently ranks 14th in the NFL, and as long as he’s sporting the bulky brace on his leg, Garcon doesn’t believe he’ll be able to reach those numbers.
“It’s not gonna let you be the guy you are without the knee brace. When you have something around your knees — the more equipment you have on, it’s obviously distracting you or slowing you down from being as free as loose as yourself without any equipment on.”