This wasn't the plan.
After undergoing major knee surgery in January 2013, missing the entire offseason and then having his ups and downs last season during his recovery, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III came back this season on a mission.
Here's an exclusive look from the Washington Redskins' sideline during their Week 1 game with the Houston Texans.
He trained all offseason, both on his own and with his teammates, to get back to form, and entered the year with even more weapons at his disposal, primed for a major comeback story.
But that story appears to be put on hold, however, after Griffin III suffered a dislocated left ankle in the first quarter of Sunday's 41-10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at FedExField.
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said after Sunday's game that it was too early to tell how much time Griffin III – who had to be carted off the field and taken to the locker room – will miss. But the immediate prognosis doesn't look good for the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, who was in crutches after the game.
"He will undergo more tests tomorrow and we will know more about the injury tomorrow after the MRI," said Gruden, who said his first-career win as an NFL head coach Sunday was bittersweet because of the injury. "We don't know the length of time he is going to miss as of today."
Griffin III's injury occurred in the first quarter of Sunday's game, as Griffin III – who scrambled out of the pocket to his right – made a last-second throw near the sideline to wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
Griffin III said he was trying to stiff arm Jacksonville linebacker Paul Posluszny when his ankle "got caught in the ground." Despite suffering the injury, Griffin III was immediately able to push off his right foot and deliver an 11-yard pass to Jackson before crumpling to the ground on the Redskins' sideline.
"When I landed, I wanted to look at my ankle because I felt something," Griffin III said after the game. "When I looked at it, it didn't look in a great position, so I kind of knew something was wrong then. So, I just called the trainers over."
As Griffin III was being tended to by the team's medical staff, backup quarterback Kirk Cousins, just two plays later, found fullback Darrel Young wide open in the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown that gave the Redskins an early 7-0 lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Cousins, in emergency relief, finished the game completing 22-of-33 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns.
Griffin III – who finished the game with two completions, 38 passing yards and 22 rushing yards – was transported to the locker room, where he watched the remainder of the game. He said despite being injured, he was encouraged by how his teammates rallied to finish the game in dominating fashion in front of more than 80,000 fans in the 2014 FedExField opener.
"You never want to get hurt," said Griffin III, who spoke to the media after the game while wearing crutches. "You want to be out there and be available for your teammates. It's just an unfortunate situation because it wasn't on a hit or anything.
"It was good to see everybody go out there and play at a high level. Kirk did a great job. Offensive line protected him. He threw the ball well. All the playmakers were out there making plays."
Gruden said he felt badly for Griffin III because "everybody knows what kind of competitor" he is.
"He's obviously very disappointed – he's sick," Gruden said. "He wants to do great things, and he has his sights set on a great year – a magical year, so to speak. When you get hurt, and your season gets cut short, it's devastating."
For now, the Redskins will head into next Sunday's matchup against the Eagles in Philadelphia planning for Cousins to start, with third-stringer Colt McCoy backing him up.
"I feel like we can win any game with Kirk Cousins," Gruden said. "Kirk is a special guy. … He can handle it mentally, and obviously, physically. I feel like he can make every throw in the book, and we are going to move forward with Kirk."
As for Griffin III, the Baylor product said he'll keep his head held high and continue to support his teammates until he's able to get back onto the field again.
"Right now, we're just focused on Philly," Griffin III said. "I'm trying to do what I can to help this team win and help Kirk and Colt go out there and be prepared to play football. I believe Kirk is going to go out there and play extremely well. This team is going to win games because we have a very good team that's on the field. One guy doesn't define this team – that includes me."
Other injuriesThe Redskins also had a few other injuries that they're keeping a close eye on the next few days.
In the first quarter, wide receiver DeSean Jackson had to exit the game after suffering an AC joint sprain in his shoulder. He didn't return, and is listed as day-to-day by Gruden.
"He landed on the shoulder and is a little sore right now, obviously, but we will see how he is next week," Gruden said.
Also injured on Sunday were running back Roy Helu Jr. (quad strain), guard Shawn Lauvao (knee inflamation) and fullback Darrel Young (back sprain). Each are also listed as day-to-day, Gruden said.