Posted December 11, 2013

Kirk Cousins to start for Redskins; RGIII will be deactivated for rest of the season

NFC East, Washington Redskins
Kirk Cousins will get his second NFL start this Sunday.

Kirk Cousins will reportedly get his second NFL start this Sunday. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

On Wednesday morning, ESPN’s John Keim confirmed an NFL Network report indicating that the Washington Redskins will start quarterback Kirk Cousins over Robert Griffin III against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. It’s an interesting move because Griffin has no specific injury — at least no specific injury that has been noted — and while he’s underperformed at times this season, the switch appears to be more about keeping Griffin healthy for the 2014 season. Later in the day, Griffin confirmed that not only will he be the team’s third quarterback behind Cousins and Rex Grossman on Sunday, but also that the team has deactivated him for the rest of 2013.

“I’m sure everybody knows by now that coach decided to shut me down for the rest of the season,” Griffin said. “I expressed my desire to play. At the end of the day, coach’s decision is what we go with. That’s the way it’s always been. It’s my job to help Kirk win.”

When asked if he was being benched for health reasons, Griffin said that “I can’t bother myself thinking about those things.”

As to the spirit of the team?

“We’ll rise out of this. I believe that, and I hope everybody else does, too. You have to keep it rolling. I’ll make sure I’m there for Kirk, that I’m there for this team in any way I can.”

Head coach Mike Shanahan’s Monday press conference was packed with news about this quarterback change — Shanahan said, flat-out, that he was considering benching Griffin for his own safety. Following Washington’s 45-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday, Shanahan was noncommittal about Griffin’s short-term future as the starter.

“The reason why I kind of left it up in the air about that after the game is that anytime you have 24 sacks in the last five games … the reason I was hesitant is that I’m always going to look at … you’ve got your franchise quarterback,  and you want to make sure going into the offseason that he goes through a full offseason program,” he said. “And that’s why I didn’t say he [Griffin] was the starter. That’s just something in the back of my mind right now, and I’ll let you know in the next couple of days.”

Shanahan had said before that it was important for Griffin, who missed the entire offseason from a team training perspective as he recovered from knee surgery, to get game reps even though 2013 is clearly a lost season. But after watching his franchise quarterback attacked by enemy defenses far too often in the last month, the coach clearly changed his mind.

“Well, just what I said — we had 24 sacks in the last five games, and you go against a team that had two sacks in the last five games [Kansas City], I’m talking about his health. I want to make sure that he’s healthy. I think that’s the most important thing going into the offseason; that he has his first full season being healthy. If he did play, and something did happen to him, I think it would set our franchise back. That’s not to say I’m not going that way, that’s why I answered it the way I did.”

Griffin has completed 274-of-456 passes for 3,203 yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions for the 3-10 Redskins in 2013 after a 2012 Rookie of the Year campaign. Cousins, selected in the fourth round of the 2012 draft, has started one game in his NFL career and has completed 12-of-25 passes for 107 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions this season.

Complicating matters in this soap opera is the distinct possibility that Shanahan has recently tried to quit, and may very well be out of the picture whether he wants to be or not. ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported this week that Shanahan had cleaned out his desk as the 2012 season was wrapping up because he was tired of Snyder’s alleged interference, but changed his mind following Griffin’s knee injury in the Redskins’ wild-card playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Recent reports also indicate that owner Dan Snyder may be looking to fire Shanahan for cause. Shanahan would not address the Graziano report during his Monday press conference, but he did not deny it.

100 comments
Robert96
Robert96

Getting out of the dysfunctional city of Washing DC would be a blessing for anyone.........Shanahan will embrace it.

michael.f.passe
michael.f.passe

The Jocks-in-suits on TV media are howling and yowling about the audacity of a football coach to sit one of his under-performing players, as if we needed another reminder that quarterbacks, not coaches, run things in the NFL. Once upon a time this would be simply a coaches' decision, deal with it. But not today, when prima donna quarterbacks are such pampered "investments" they can't even be tackled any more.

PKpwnage
PKpwnage

I'll give Snyder credit for using this to try and salvage a bad situation. With everything invested in RG3 and the playoffs out of reach, this makes sense to have RG3 come back 100% next season. For Cousins, he played well when needed last year and can potentially earn a starting role elsewhere with continued success. Protecting their invested future and potentially getting players and/or picks for Cousins will help mitigate not only their recent draft moves, but also the salary cap punishments they are currently struggling with.

DanLeeper
DanLeeper

Wow, this is new stuff for the NFL, pack it in quit competing for the year, what do you say to your paying fan base? Sure glad I don't own season tickets with the skins. This is a new philosophy, if you can't win ,...QUIT. ouch!

NFL_Madness
NFL_Madness

This whole deal is starting to remind me of the McNabb fiasco.  Bench him then sign him to a $40 million contract then bench him the next week again.

LarryLemanski
LarryLemanski

Imagine what Cousin feels like: It's too dangerous for RGIII but we'll throw Cousins there!


This thing is so screwed up it will be a couple years before we know what stupidity is going on behind the scenes, after someone writes a book about this whole cluster.


I think we've got too idiots with a decent coach squished between them.

inthepresent
inthepresent

1. that pic looks like cousins in a disney movie, waking up and seeing that it is a white christmas after all.

2. snyder is an idiot. like jerry jones.

3. rg3 is a class act.


cgower
cgower

Hey, Mike, talk about shutting the door after the horse has left the barn . . .  If you were really concerned about Bob Griffin's health, you wouldn't have let him play in the post season last year.

Bigdog12
Bigdog12

the jets will want to sign cousins after they watch him play the last 3 games 

Bigdog12
Bigdog12

RG3 you need to say I do feel its best for my team to help me get a full off season to rest 

PaulKelly
PaulKelly

Not many players come back the next year from knee surgery and look like themselves. and as far as no talent, be careful. Drew Breez looked awful his first three years in San Diego. He got hurt and they let him walk just when he was figuring out how to play in the NFL.  This is good for Griffin and the team, he is getting pounded. It is not just the sacks but he seems to always be getting whacked after the ball is gone. The whole franchise seems to need a benching for awhile.  Ok everyone, stand in the corner till the ref's let you out. And no talking either.  The fans will be upset but they will he glad years from now when this kid is winning Super Bowls. .

banghartlaw
banghartlaw

Eagles showed off QB Kevin Kolb for 5 games in 2010 before working a trade deal with Arizona in2011. A three games audition could make Cousins more valuable.

life_is_a_sport
life_is_a_sport

First, D-Rose, now RG III. These redemption/road to recovery videos from Adidas are starting to get ironic.

George
George

History has shown that it's easier to be a coaching "mastermind" 

when John Elway (HOF) is your qb and Terrell Davis (should be HOF) is toting the rock for you.


But Washington's real problem is not Shanahan - it's Little Man Dan - their owner.


And he's not selling.   Good luck with THAT, Washington fans.

CobyPreimesberger
CobyPreimesberger

and the reason why is because he's the one who picks the team, as his term might be vice president of football ops, but he's the one who is responible.  look shannahan has one person in mind and one person only him, as he's trying to make sure snyder gives him his 7 million in the final year of his contract, as we all know he's going to get fired in 3 weeks on black monday, and snyder is looking for cause to fire him, that way he doesn't have to pay any more money to the rat

j7apple
j7apple

The Griffin pick last year looked like a gem, this year not so much. Lets reserve the arguments for year three..

Mikey A
Mikey A

lol mike shanahan sucks penises

Cool
Cool

Green Bay is sitting Rogers out for the rest of the season.. do you think this is because they are looking to replace him too?   Come on folks, they are doing it in his best interest and for the team.

HarshRealities
HarshRealities

It is a good chance for Cousins to show what he can do once again. If he does well and the Redskins decide to keep RGIII as the QB of the future the Redskins should be able to pick up a lot from a team looking for a proven yet young QB.

SethElDuderinoFischer
SethElDuderinoFischer

Also, you need to stop falling for all the conspiracy theories "leaked" to the media. None of us honestly have a clue as to what's going on behind closed doors. Sports reporting ain't what it used to be. It's all speculation and "unnamed sources" with absolutely zero factual evidence.

SethElDuderinoFischer
SethElDuderinoFischer

Any of you dorks who actually think KC is a better QB than RG3 needs to seriously reevaluate their knowledge of this sport.

Cool
Cool

From previous articles we know that RGIII has been paranoid about losing his starting job, afraid Cousins would prove to be a better QB.  With that in mind, I find it hard to believe he is really concerned about helping Kirk.

effeweall
effeweall

Cousins is better QB then RG3.  These running QB's are like pet rocks and bellbottoms

michael.f.passe
michael.f.passe

Since when does a coach not have the right to sit any player he wants, any time he wants, for any reason he wants? Are rich pampered quarterbacks excluded?

Keith7
Keith7

a 14-1 team will bench most of its starters so they won't get injured going into the playoffs and everyone is fine with that, so why not do it from the opposite perspective?

Voiceover310
Voiceover310

@DanLeeper I wouldn't say they are quitting, more like putting RGIII on the shelf cause he had that horrible injury last season and if there is no chance of playoffs then start someone else and have your starter 100% for next season. If they played him and he tore his ACl/MCL etc etc you would probably say "Why was he out there in the first place?!?!?!" It's a smart move considering that there are big changes coming for the skins. 

Voiceover310
Voiceover310

@LarryLemanski You think anyone is going to buy a book that details why the Redskins have had a bad season?? NO THANKS

sunalsorises
sunalsorises

@inthepresent RG3 is a class act in that "all in for week 1, I am bigger than the team, coach killing" kind of way.

riley8
riley8

@PaulKelly I'll bet the farm that he won't be winning Super Bowls.  He isn't a leader. He doesn't know when to slide.  On top of that he is injured and you just said not many come back from knee injuries.  I agree.  This has bust written all over it.

bobcatg
bobcatg

Shanahan's a great coach especially of QBs and offensive strategy. Synder IS screwing the situation up. RGIII should've been brought in slowly when he was healthy last year and he definitely should not have come in as soon as he did this year. I can't help but feel this is an owner's decision about generating enthusiasm for a star player. With a little patience and letting the guys who ACTUALLY KNOW FOOTBALL  make the football-related decisions RGII was destined to eventually be the face of the franchise and he would've had a much better start.


101philosopha101
101philosopha101

I dislike Shanahan but you can't say that Terrell Davis would be anywhere near as good as he was without the Shanahan offensive line system.  Shanny's one good point is his ability to take ANY running back and make him lethal.  He did that far too often to say that Terrell would have done it on his own. 

RichardSims
RichardSims

@Cool Who says Rogers is out for season? G.B. still fighting for division so Rogers will be back this week or next for sure I am betting on...Washington can never go anywhere this season so why get your #2 pick hurt for no reason....it isn't rocket science.

LarryLemanski
LarryLemanski

The NFL has a LONG history of agile running QBs lasting 1 - 2 years and then becoming "journeymen". Welcome to RGIIIs new career.

Cool
Cool

@SethElDuderinoFischer Just waiting for you to talk about how Tebow should be signed for the last couple of games.  

Keith7
Keith7

he's like a circus seal with multiple horns in front of him, hence the plurality

NachoBeesnass
NachoBeesnass

@PhillyPenn @NachoBeesnass @PatrickBatemanVP Last year everyone talked about how Cam Newton wasn't good and how his rookie year was a fluke. This year everyone is sucking his balls. Two years isn't long enough to determine who is better at a position.