Redskins: Is door open for Cousins or McCoy to Start?


Aug 20, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and quarterback Colt McCoy (16) on the bench against the Detroit Lions during the second half at FedEx Field. The Washington Redskins won 21 – 17, Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins will be without quarterback Robert Griffin III in the lineup for at least another few weeks.  After previously being cleared to play, that decision has been reversed and now it will be another week or two until Griffin is retested.

The Redskins had previously announced that Robert Griffin III would start the entire season in order to evaluate his future with the team.  But with RGIII still not cleared from concussion symptoms that means the other Redskins quarterbacks will have the spotlight to prove themselves as the starter.

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We saw this happen last season also when Griffin went down early in the season with a dislocated ankle.  Head coach Jay Gruden turned to Kirk Cousins to start in his place after Cousins had an extremely productive preseason.

Cousins stepped in and in his first few appearances there was talk that if he continued to play well, he could become the full-time starter over Griffin even after he returned.  The door was wide open for Cousins then but he failed to step through it.

As he became plagued with turnovers and the inability to come through under pressure with the game on the line.  Eventually, Jay Gruden replaced Cousins in the lineup with Colt McCoy and Cousins didn’t play again the rest of the season.

However, here we are in another preseason and Cousins is looking again and also Griffin is injured again.  This is something that Griffin couldn’t afford because it’s one of the lingering liabilities that’s become oh so common throughout his short career.

With Griffin out, it’s possible that Gruden could choose to start McCoy if he deems him as his starter after Griffin but Cousins is scheduled to play first in the backup QB rotation.  So Cousins would get the first crack at things with the first unit offense against the Ravens in the dress rehearsal.

The hope was that Griffin would perform well in this bigger than usual preseason game.  But If either Cousins or McCoy looks good against the Ravens on Saturday could that convince the Redskins to abort their plan to go with RGIII for the season no matter what?

It might.  But I think the only thing that will really keep Griffin out of the lineup for sure is if he’s not healthy.  And with concussions that’s something that at times could linger.  If Griffin isn’t cleared in time for the regular season then the Redskins will have no choice but go with someone else and that would open the door even wider.

However, the only way I see Cousins or McCoy becoming the full-time starter is if one of them just absolutely lights up the Ravens defense and put a lot of points on the board.  They would need a performance that leaves no doubt.

The chance for that against is slim against a good Ravens defense but anything is possible.  Otherwise, I think the job will belong to Robert Griffin III when he’s cleared to play again.

Next: What will the Redskins offense look like without RGIII?