Robert Griffin III suffered a fractured coracoid process in his left shoulder in the Browns' loss to the Eagles in week one of the 2016 season. Griffin took a hit to the shoulder from Eagles rookie, Jalen Mills.
What is it? The coracoid process is part of the shoulder blade and is located on the front side of the shoulder. This small piece of bone is important as it serves as the attachment site for many ligaments and muscles. One of the muscles that is attached to the coracoid process is the short head of the biceps muscle. A fractured coracoid process simply indicates that the bone has been broken. A broken coracoid process is a rare injury, however, can be painful and inhibit the ability of the shoulder to function properly.
How is it fixed? The Browns indicated that they will address Griffin III's injury via non-surgical measures. When a fracture or break to any part of the shoulder blade has occurred, medical personnel will typically require the patient to use a sling initially. This allows time for bone healing to occur without disruption by moving the affected body part. Following use of sling and bone healing, patients are typically progressed through a series of range of motion and strengthening exercises to ensure proper mechanics and functionality of the shoulder. At the discretion of the medical provider, the individual is then progressed to functional activities. In the case of RGIII, functional activities would be football related, such as passing, taking snaps, running, etc. Upon demonstration of the ability to adequately perform functional activities, the medical staff will release the athlete to resume play. Any setbacks over the course of the rehabilitation process may delay the healing process and return to plan.
My take. The Browns indicated the healing process for RGIII would take approximately 10-12 weeks. With the new IR rule in place this season, Griffin III is eligible to return to the team this week against the Ravens, however, the team has made no indication if he is physically ready to do so. I don't anticipate seeing RGIII taking another snap this season given the result of the season thus far. The Browns are better served to continue to start Cody Kessler under center and determine if he is a viable option at QB going forward.
Brandon Bowers, PT, DPT, is a graduate of the University of Toledo, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. He is an avid Cleveland sports fan and has experience rehabbing athletes of all levels and from a variety of sports. Follow Brandon on Twitter for more Cleveland Browns injury insight and analysis: @blbowers12
The information provided is the professional opinion of Brandon Bowers, PT, DPT and is based on his clinical experience and the most current clinical evidence available. This information should not be interpreted as or substituted for medical advice for a specific condition or diagnosis.