Robert Griffin III has been the starter for the Washington Redskins since he arrives as a highly touted rookie last season, but in Sunday’s game he reportedly won’t even be on the bench.
Sources close to the Redskins say that fellow second-year player Kirk Cousins is set to start Sunday when the Redskins face the Atlanta Falcons. It appears that Griffin won’t even be the backup, either. The team has reportedly told Griffin that he will be inactive while veteran Rex Grossman backs up Cousins.
Cousins was seen in practice taking snaps with the first team while Grossman worked with the No. 2 offense.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan hinted at the possibility of shelving Robert Griffin III for the remaining three games of the season to maintain his health. Shanahan was criticized last seasons for continuing to play Griffin despite a noticeable limp.
Griffin struggled through the team’s playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks, which he ultimately left after tearing his ACL.
Robert Griffin III has been through a brutal stretch of games, being sacked 24 times in the last five games.
Kirk Cousins was selected in the 2012 draft along with Griffin, taken in the fourth round. He played in three games last year, including a win over the Baltimore Ravens after Griffin went down with an injury.
Redskins players have been told Rex Grossman will backup Kirk Cousins on Sunday — and Robert Griffin III will be inactive.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) December 11, 2013
The decision to bench Robert Griffin III comes at a critical time for Mike Shanahan. He has one year and $7 million left on his contract, and has led the Redskins to double digit loss totals in three of his four years with the team.
Robert Griffin III has thrown for 3,203 yards this season, with 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.