Washington Redskins ‘quarterback Robert Griffin III participated in practice on Thursday. His participation has fueled speculation that he will start the Redskins’ Week 15 game against the Cleveland Browns. However, Redskins’ head coach Mike Shanahan remained non-committal as to whether or not Griffin III will get the start.
Shanahan’s refusal to commit to either Griffin III or reserve quarterback Kirk Cousins as the starter against the Browns is laughable. Remember that Washington sacrificed multiple draft picks in future drafts to select Griffin III in the 2012 NFL draft. Make no mistake: as long as Griffin III can walk, talk, and breathe, you better believe he will be the starter on Sunday.
But I digress. I can see why Shanahan is using a little gamesmanship in an effort to confuse the Browns. Although they have a record of 5-8, Cleveland is not an easy win on anyone’s schedule. They have won three consecutive games, which includes a 20-14 Week 12 upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Oh, by the way, the Steelers defeated Washington 27-12 Week Eight, so fans can take that for what it’s worth.
You can also consider Cleveland’s 2012 performance against the NFC East. Although the Browns are currently 0-3 against the NFC East, they were extremely competitive against the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, and New York Giants. The Browns had substantial leads in each of those games, but failed to finish off their opponents.
Keeping the Browns guessing who will start under center for Washington is justifiable. The Redskins are seeking a fifth consecutive victory in an effort to keep their playoff aspirations alive. Shanahan doesn’t want to give Cleveland the option to focus its preparation solely on Griffin III. Nevertheless, Shanahan’s silence on the subject of his starting quarterback speaks volumes about how important the Browns’ game is. Then again, it’s been a long time since the Redskins have played an important game, so it’s all relative.