Somehow we’ve made it through two entire weeks without a Robert Griffin III post, which is a truly superhuman feat of strength during this offseason. You’ll recall that the last time we checked in with everyone’s favorite quarterback who plays for the football team in Washington (I believe their name has been the center of some discussion and controversy), he was planting and cutting for the first time, and generally being awesome.
Even more generally, on a practice field in shorts throughout May and June, he’s looked like the Robert Griffin III we’ve come to know and adore with all our love. He’s bounced around and thrown a lot of throws, and he’s sprinted around with ease.
Of course, Griffin and everyone around Griffin are still approaching the quarterback’s recovery from multiple torn knee ligaments with the most cautious kind of optimism when speaking publicly. All signs point to first a full training camp, and then a Week 1 return just eight months after reconstructive surgery. But there’s still the significant matter of facing contact, and how the knee will respond when a man who weighs several hundred pounds lands on it.
Let’s not think about those dark thoughts right now, though, because as football fans watching RG3 is a lot of fun, and for fantasy footballing purposes we need him around badly. So instead let’s pay much more attention to the comments below from Kirk Cousins, the Redskins’ backup quarterback who won’t be the backup at all if Griffin can’t go in Week 1.
No worries, Cousins doesn’t think that will be a problem.
During an appearance earlier this morning on NFL AM, Cousins said he expects Griffin to be out there against the Eagles on Sept. 9.
“Robert looked awesome, and I’m not just saying that. Obviously he is a bit of freak in terms of his athleticism but he’s healed very quickly.”
Then he added more nice words.
“He couldn’t practice with us but he was on a separate field doing drills all spring during our OTAs and our minicamp. He looked really good. I think he’ll be ready to go come Week 1. But obviously my mindset is to be ready no matter what. I’m getting ready all summer so I can be ready if called upon.”
Inherently, Cousins is always preparing to play. As a backup that’s his job, and that’s his mindset, and it’s no doubt a difficult trick at a position which can be so stressful mentally. Being randomly inserted into a game and dealing with the brute physicality without any sense of rhythm is difficult enough without the added mental challenge facing a quarterback.
So big ups to Cousins for doing that, and doing it well while being in the even more unique position of having to be Griffin’s wing man, and replacing a highly mobile quarterback when needed. Cousins’ game-tying touchdown throw which eventually led to an overtime win against Baltimore in Week 14 this past season gave the Redskins plenty of confidence in his spot start ability if Griffin isn’t quite ready in September. He then followed that up with 329 passing yards on 8.9 yards per attempt with two touchdowns and an interception in a win over Cleveland.
The ‘Skins will be fine temporarily with Cousins under center. But increasingly, it’s looking like he’ll be holding a clipboard instead of a football in Week 1.