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Need to Know: Griffin no longer the starter but he's still on the Redskins—for now

Need to Know: Griffin no longer the starter but he's still on the Redskins—for now

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, September 1, Four days before the Washington Redskins make their final cuts.

Griffin remains a Redskin--for now

Robert Griffin III is no longer the Redskins starting quarterback. But he is still a member of the team.

"Robert's on our football team and he's a Washington Redskin,” said Jay Gruden after announcing that Kirk Cousins, not Griffin, will start the season opener against the Dolphins and for the rest of the season. “We believe in Robert. It's a good problem to have to have three quarterbacks that are competing and working their butts off. I feel like all three of them are capable quarterbacks.”

If you parse those words, noting the present tense, there is nothing that commits to the Redskins keeping Griffin beyond today. But later Gruden indicated that Griffin isn’t going anywhere.

“There's been no discussions about letting him go or doing any of that stuff,” said Gruden. “We are going to plan on playing with these three quarterbacks.”

This does not necessarily mean that Griffin will remain on the roster. Nothing is etched in stone when a coach takes the podium. The best posture for a coach or general manager to take is to say that a player is a member of the team in good standing right up until the moment that he is no longer on the team. The happy talk keeps his trade value up and doesn’t alienate the player. You never know what might happen and you might need to change your mind.

A trade seems unlikely due to the injury-guaranteed 2016 option that the Redskins picked up in the spring. But with his value already driven down by being benched there is no point in pushing it down further by saying anything other than your intentions to keep him.

The Redskins can’t do anything to move on from Griffin while he is still under the NFL’s concussion protocol. There really is no decision to make or “discussions” to be had until he is cleared to play. So, until then there is no reason to talk about him as anything but a member in good standing of the Washington Redskins.

But when he is cleared to play, all bets will be off.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:00, Jay Gruden news conference and player availability after practice (approx. 1:00)

—It’s been 245 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 12 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Final cuts 4; Rams @ Redskins 19; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 23

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Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

As Jay Gruden stepped to the podium to read the injury report, he warned, “This will be a while.”

He was right, as he rattled off one the longest injury reports of the season.

Out were G Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion), DE Chris Baker (ankle), DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Anthony Lanier (lower leg), G Shawn Lauvao (groin), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), and S Donte Whitner (illness).

Of that group, all but Jean Francois, Lanier, and Nsekhe are starters. Between them and the limited players listed below it was difficult for the Redskin to conduct a normal practice.

“It was a challenge,” said Gruden of getting through it. “Practice was modified quite a bit today. We did more walkthrough today than we ever have on a Wednesday.”

“Sometimes you have to taper back just a hair to make it through practice, try to get the mental reps in with walkthrough and then hopefully the physical part will come maybe tomorrow. Friday we can open them up a bit.”

Limited in practice were TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), OLB Preston Smith (groin), ILB Will Compton (hip), G Brandon Scherff (ankle), and TE Derek Carrier (knee).

Reed returned to practice for the first time since suffering a Grade 3 sprain to the AC joint in his left shoulder in the game against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. He missed the game in Arizona. While his limited participation was a good sign for his return it’ is way too early in the week to say with any degree of certainty that he will be playing against the Eagles.

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Robert Griffin III set to start Sunday for Browns vs. Bengals

Robert Griffin III set to start Sunday for Browns vs. Bengals

RGIII is finally getting another chance to play.

Plagued by injury after injury — most recently breaking a bone in his left shoulder in the Brown’s 29-10 loss to the Eagles in their season opener — the former Redskin is set to start for Cleveland against the Bengals on Sunday, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports.

Griffin was cleared for contact last week after missing the majority of the Browns’ 0-12 season, and the team is coming off a bye week after its last loss to the Giants over Thanksgiving weekend.

In 2015, Kirk Cousins replaced Griffin as starting quarterback, and the Redskins released him at the end of the season. He signed a two-year, $15 million contract with Cleveland in March.  

In Griffin’s absence, the Browns have relied on Cody Kessler and Josh McCown, who boast a 65.5 and 54.5 completion percentage, respectively. The two combine for just 12 touchdowns this season.

Will Griffin be the key to ending the Browns’ winless season? We’ll find out Sunday.

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