RG3's knee injury not as serious as was feared

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 11 2012 7:01 a.m. MST

ASHBURN, Va. — All the medical terms associated with Robert Griffin III's knee injury can be boiled down to one simple message: It's not too bad.

Beyond that, there are still some very important unknowns.

The NFL's top-rated quarterback might or might not play Sunday when the Washington Redskins visit the Cleveland Browns. Coach Mike Shanahan, knowing full well that it makes the other team work extra to prepare for two quarterbacks, will no doubt wait as long as possible to publicly commit one way or the other to Griffin or fellow rookie Kirk Cousins.

"Both of them will have a game plan," Shanahan said Monday.

The interior of Griffin's right knee was the subject of intense scrutiny during Shanahan's weekly news conference. Griffin has a mild, or Grade 1, sprain of the lateral collateral ligament located on the outside of the knee, caused when he was hit by Baltimore defensive tackle Haloti Ngata at the end of a 13-yard scramble late in regulation of the 31-28 overtime win over the Ravens.

"When I looked at it on film," Shanahan said, "I thought it would be worse than it was."

A Grade 1 sprain typically means the ligament is stretched or has some minor tears and usually doesn't require surgery. Griffin will get multiple treatments daily and will probably have to wear a brace for several weeks. The next major benchmark is whether Griffin will able to take part when practice resumes on Wednesday.

Griffin, the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft, has become a phenomenon in his debut NFL season, leading the Redskins — a team that went 5-11 last year — to four straight victories to put the record at 7-6, one game behind the first-place New York Giants in the NFC East.

TAGLIABUE TO MAKE BOUNTY RULING TODAY: Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue will rule this afternoon on the latest round of player appeals in the NFL's bounty probe, and any potential punishment will be delayed by a week, a person familiar with the decision said. The delay is designed to give a federal judge in New Orleans the opportunity to rule on pending motions to throw out the suspensions and remove Tagliabue as the appointed arbitrator for the player appeals to the league.

The NFL's decision to delay potential sanctions for four current or former Saints also means linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith may play Sunday when New Orleans hosts Tampa Bay.

If the sanctioned players find Tagliabue's decision palatable, that could finally bring the bounty saga to an end more than nine months after the NFL first made public its probe of New Orleans' cash-for-hits program. If not, it will be up to U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan to disqualify Tagliabue or let his ruling stand.

RAVENS FIRE OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Cam Cameron was fired Monday as offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens, who have lost two straight and are still striving for consistency in the running and passing game. Cameron ran the Baltimore offense since the start of the 2008 season for coach John Harbaugh. Since that time, the Ravens' attack has repeatedly taken a back seat to the team's defense, and this year the offense ranks 18th with 344.4 yards per game.

Jim Caldwell, who was hired as quarterbacks coach before the season, will assume Cameron's duties. Caldwell was head coach of the Indianapolis Colts from 2009-11. Caldwell, 57, was quarterbacks coach for Peyton Manning at Indianapolis before taking over as head coach. He will make his NFL debut as an offensive coordinator on Sunday against the Manning and Denver Broncos (10-3).

JACOBS SUSPENDED BY 49ERS: The San Francisco 49ers suspended running back Brandon Jacobs on Monday for the final three games following a series of posts on social media sites addressing his lack of playing time, including one during the weekend saying he was "on this team rotting away."

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