We’ve got controversy in Washington!  In other news, it’s also Sunday.

The Redskins circus took another twist on Sunday.  After Colt McCoy’s Monday Night Football win over the Cowboys, Robert Griffin III returned to the lineup for a trip to Minnesota to take on the Vikings.  Naturally, RGIII and the Redskins went down 29-26 to fall to 3-6 on the season.

But the real intrigue (per usual) happened off the field.  Before the game, ESPN’s Britt McHenry reported that Griffin had “alienated himself” in the locker room, detailed here at ESPN.com:

Griffin’s support with players, however, is not as strong as it is with the highest levels of the organization, according to sources.

When Griffin began addressing the media in the locker room on Friday for the first time since dislocating his left ankle in Week 2, about 15 teammates began shouting. It was so loud and distracting, the franchise quarterback — and reporters — had to leave the locker room so Griffin could speak someplace where he could be heard. That’s when the cheering got even more boisterous.

A source familiar with the incident told ESPN’s Britt McHenry that Griffin has “alienated himself” from the locker room.

After the loss to the Vikings, head coach Jay Gruden addressed McHenry’s report and unleashed an attack on her credibility, tossing out the word “amateur” multiple times and calling it “small time reporter reporting fiction.”  Via the Washington Post:

“I saw those,” the coach said when asked about the pregame reports. “It was an amateurish report. It was totally not true. And for anybody who reads that to believe that, they’re an amateur. Anybody who reports that’s an amateur. It’s totally false. And just something else that you have to deal with up here at a press conference, that Robert has to deal with, that the players have to deal with, that they’re going to write about and ask about.

“But we are in D.C., and it is Robert Griffin, and they’re always going to try to tear him down and tear us down for whatever reason,” Gruden went on. “But we’re going to stay united as a locker room, and that’s that. We’re not going to let anybody get to us. That’s some small-time reporter reporting fiction.”

Those are as stern a words as you’re going to hear from a coach towards a member of the media.  Clearly, the implications of the McHenry report are quite serious as nothing sends a football team and a fanbase whipped up into a frenzy like the old “quarterback losing the locker room” storylines.  And when that person is as hotly debated as RGIII, magnify that times ten.

The most perplexing element about this story though is that there have been multiple voices who have backed McHenry’s report and denied it.

Local Washington reporters seemingly debunked McHenry’s report…

Meanwhile, others on the national scene backed McHenry…

For her part, McHenry’s only reaction to the Gruden comments and backlash from the Redskins organization was to RT the tweet from Negandhi.  So which side are we to believe?  Time may have to be the deciding factor to see how the RGIII tenure in Washington plays out.  Regardless, it’s another weird chapter in a weird season for the Redskins.  Where is Mr. “NO MEANS NO” when you need him?

[Washington Post]

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