Undergoing ACL rehab again still will be a challenge

Robert Griffin III already knows what he faces. He has recovered from reconstructive surgery once before and flourished. He has worn a brace. There won't be anything new when he returns next season -- except that going through it a second time might challenge his mindset even more.

"Robert is as close to Superman as you can ask for," said former NFL quarterbacks coach Terry Shea, who trained Griffin last offseason. "But he's a human being, so I'm sure in the back of his consciousness he'll want to have that knee tested. The only way you get it tested is to take a couple hits."

Griffin underwent surgery to repair his damaged right knee Wednesday. He needed his ACL reconstructed and his lateral collateral ligament repaired. It was also reported that he needed work done on his medial meniscus.

Players who have undergone ACL surgery in particular talk about the inflammation that occurs, especially when they first return, which leads to other issues. CBS analyst and former NFL quarterback Rich Gannon underwent ACL surgery early in his career. He wore a brace and spent an extra 45 to 60 minutes a day in the trainer's room to deal with his knee throughout his career. Gannon said it took him longer to loosen up, too.

"This will be a challenge for him," said Gannon, who spoke with Griffin before the Dec. 9 Baltimore game in which he first got hurt. "But he'll be motivated. In visiting him before the Baltimore game, he feels that responsibility, which is important and unique in a young player to realize, to the coaching staff and owner: 'Hey, look, the guy stepped up to get me. I have to play every week.'?"

Griffin will need to make sure he doesn't overcompensate for his knee and thereby fall into bad mechanics, as he did after his initial injury. And he can't play with fear.

"Once he clears that benchmark, he'll be back to the same mindset that Robert Griffin brought as a rookie and what he played with in college," Shea said. "He'll just have to take a couple licks. ... If there's a time frame on this, if it's six to eight months, I'd bet on Robert being more like six months."