Cousins set to take over in starting line-up for remaining three games.
Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has revealed that he will bench quarterback Robert Griffin III for the rest of the season.
Despite speculation suggesting that the decision was made with his rocky relationship with the player in mind and also his future at the franchise, Shanahan insists it is purely based on protecting the team’s franchise player for the future.
The Redskins are 3-10 for the season and out of playoff contention, and with Griffin suffering numerous sacks in recent weeks, his coach is looking to protect him in order to allow him to enjoy a full pre-season schedule injury free.
As a result, Kirk Cousins is expected to fill in for RG III in the starting line-up, while Rex Grossman will act as back-up as Washington’s premier quarterback will now sit out and look to work on his fitness and play after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery earlier this year.
“The best thing to do is give him an opportunity to go into that third year injury free to get a chance to get better in the offseason. … I know that will be the difference in him being 100 percent healthy and him going to the offseason being the leader,” Shanahan said, as reported by ESPN.
“I think it would set him back so much if he missed another offseason, which could happen. I didn’t think the risk-reward was worth it.
“When you take a look at a quarterback who is your franchise quarterback, he’s your future. If you miss two offseasons in a row it’d be the hardest thing to recover from.”
While Griffin did look dispirited during practice on Wednesday and was visibly upset during his press conference, he conceded that he had accepted the coach’s decision and will now look to help his team-mates win their remaining regular season games.
He insisted that he will not bring a negative mood into the locker room, and will now give any advice he can to Cousins who has acted as his back-up over the past year, completing 12-of-25 passes for 107 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions.