Brian Griese had big shoes to fill when he took over the helm of the Denver Broncos' offense from all-star quarterback John Elway. In the toughness department, at least, Griese showed his worth Monday night.
Griese, who is slated for shoulder surgery in the off-season for torn cartilage in his shoulder, suffered a separated shoulder in the Monday Night Football game against Oakland. What's more, Griese stayed in the game to usher in a 27-24 win for the Broncos.
Griese was chased out of bounds on a first-quarter play and noticed pain in his right shoulder. After venturing to the locker room, tests revealed that he had a Grade-3 separation, with his bones torn over an inch away from each other. According to USA Today, trainers also talked of collarbone damage, but decided no long term damage would ensue if Griese returned to the field numbed by painkillers.
After a shot that calmed the popping sensation, Griese began throwing on the sidelines, as if to egg on head coach Mike Shanahan to put him back in the game. Backup quarterback Gus Frerotte stood in for Griese for four plays in the meantime. Once back in, Griese completed 25 of 37 passes, including a fourth-quarter, 11-yard touchdown pass to Byron Chamberlain.
Team physician Dr. Richard Hawkins said that Griese's shoulder will be put back into place and left to heal on its own. If, after four to eight weeks, the injury has not healed, surgical fixation may be necessary. Meanwhile, according to the Associated Press, Frerotte and rookie Jarious Jackson will fill in at quarterback.