While the Washington Redskins wait for Robert Griffin III to come back from his injuries, the quarterback most likely to back him up, Kirk Cousins, has also picked up an injury of his own, leaving the team with Rex Grossman as their number one player at the moment in the position, which means very bad news if the season actually begins like this.
Kirk Cousins managed to throw only three passes before spraining his right foot in the 24-13 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. There were plenty of positives for the Redskins when you make the focus game-specific, but taking a broader look at what’s important, which is keeping key players healthy, putting Cousins on crutches to sit next to a still immobilized Griffin can’t be good news.
And then there’s the Grossman issue, as their third-string quarterback becomes their number one for the time being, as Griffin’s availability for week 1 remains questionable, with Cousins joins him in that injury enigma. Grossman finished with 10-of-16 for 133 yards and a touchdown, and he also threw an interception. Grossman started in 13 games for the Redskins back in 2011, and was intercepted 20 times, which were the most by a Washington QB since Jay Schroeder in 1986.
Grossman might be the best third-string quarterback in the NFL, or at least with the most experience, but it still doesn’t mean that he should be someone the team is going to be very happy to see lining up behind center if both Griffin and Cousins are unavailable when the season actually begins.
But the Steelers had other things to be a bit more pleased about, like gaining 146 yards on 28 carries, even though it hardly had anything to do with Alfred Morris, rushing 4 times for 12 yards. Keiland Williams was the main contributor on the ground with 39 yards on 8 carries, while Roy Helu broke out for a 30 yard run to score one of the Redskins’ two offensive touchdowns.
Like many teams facing the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Redskins didn’t have too many problems getting to the quarterback. They finished with a total of 4 sacks, including once on Ben Roethlisberger. It’s interesting that the Redskins have been successful in bringing the pass rush without using any extra men, or playing with Brian Orakpo. Instead, Darryl Tapp has been doing an excellent job despite playing in a position he isn’t used to, although he’s clearly not at the level Orakpo is.
Another impressive defensive performer is linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, whose speed and versatility allows the Redskins to line him up in a number of ways which greatly improves their pass rush heading into the new season.
But with all of their impressive moments on defense, the Washington Redskins look worryingly at the sidelines. Robert Griffin III is getting fans excited by dressing up in full uniform to make it seem like his comeback is right around the corner, but he isn’t likely to take a single snap during preseason, and even his week 1 performance is doubtful. Now that Kirk Cousins might be out for even longer, the pressure on Griffin to make his return could be greater than ever, because no one wants to experience the Grossman mistake ordeal once again.