As Sunday approaches, the Redskins will eventually put in three days of practice and, more importantly, generate reports reflecting whether and to what extent quarterback Robert Griffin III was able to practice with a Grade 1 sprain to the LCL in his right knee.
And with each passing day, either Griffin or backup Kirk Cousins will be doing the bulk of the passing in practice.
Regardless of whether Griffin or Cousins ultimately play, it’s in the Redskins’ best interests to create the impression that either or both could get the start on Sunday. Since they have inherently different styles, the Browns will have to spend time preparing for each guy, making them less ready for either.
The Redskins are smart enough to know this. Whether deliberate or not, multiple players have been singing the praises of Cousins.
On Tuesday, for example, receiver Josh Morgan and running back Alfred Morris expressed confidence in Cousins ability, via CSNWashington.com.
“I’m very confident in Kirk,” Morgan said, with a laugh that almost makes us wonder whether the players have been asked to lay it on a litte thick. “Kirk has been doing that since he got here. One thing about Kirk, he’s always gonna be the same guy, every day. Once he came in that huddle and he was in the huddle just like he’s been in the huddle in practce every day, we knew he was gonna win that game.”
Morris, another rookie who has made a contribution or two this season, predicts big things for Cousins. “During OTAs one time, I rode back with him to the hotel and I looked at him and I was like, ‘You’re gonna be a great quarterback in this league, with the Redskins or another team.’ He said, ‘You think so?’ I was like, ‘I know so.’ So that’s how confident I am in Kirk.”
Coach Mike Shanahan was sufficiently confident to use a fourth-round pick on Cousins even though three first-round picks and a second-round pick were devoted to landing Griffin. Coupled with $36 million over two years in cap penalties arising from the fact that the Redskins treated the term “uncapped year” too literally, the Redskins need to make every draft pick count, since they can’t supplement the roster with free agents.
For now, the obvious goal is to keep the Browns in the dark. So far, it’s likely working.