As camp approaches, all eyes are on Griffin's knee
By Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler
Over the next few weeks, Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will take a position-by-position look at the Redskins’ depth chart.
Some battles are straightforward. Others could get complicated. This much, however, cannot be debated: A player is not on the 53-man roster until its finalized Aug 31.
So who’s in? And who’s in jeopardy? Up today …
On the roster: Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Rex Grossman, Pat White
Likely to make the 53: Griffin, Cousins
Comment: Maybe if a little bit of news would get out about how Griffin’s knee rehab is progressing we might be able to analyze this position properly. Oh, wait . . .
In the 193 days since the reconstructive surgery on his right knee, RG3’s recovery has gone from “ahead of schedule” to being a “superhuman” effort. The most recent reports say that the team is “astonished” at his progress as he “smashes” rehab benchmarks. It seems nearly certain that he will be ready to participate at some level when training camp starts a week from today and it’s nearly a lock that the Redskins’ star attraction will be playing on ESPN when the Redskins open their season on the night of Monday, Sept. 9 against the Eagles.
If Griffin suffers a setback or if he can’t go for some reason during the season, the Redskins have, according to some, the best backup QB in the league. Make no mistake, Kirk Cousins is not as good as RG3; he was drafted 100 spots after RG3 for a reason. But he gives the Redskins a chance to win—a good chance—when he lines up behind center and that is what you want from a backup quarterback.
Battling for a job: Grossman, White
Comment: Although Mike Shanahan generally prefers to go with two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster the chances are he will keep three this season, given the status of Griffin’s knee. His choice for the third QB will be between Grossman, who has been with the Redskins for three seasons and in Kyle Shanahan’s offense for four, and Pat White, who has been out of the NFL for three years and has yet to complete an NFL pass.
It would seem to be a slam-dunk that if there is a third quarterback it will be Grossman. He has served as a mentor to both Griffin and Cousins in addition to serving as a known quantity if a disaster forces him into the lineup. But given White’s athletic ability and potential to run the read option it would be a mistake to completely rule him out.