If I were to tell you that Robert Griffin III will never be the same after tearing his ACL for the second time, how would you respond? If I were to also tell you that Kirk Cousins will eventually be the starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins, would you believe me?
These are both legitimate questions that have to be asked when referring to the Redskins future QB situation. Cousins was a fourth-round draft pick by Washington, in which many questioned the decision at the time. However, it may end up being a very smart one. Knowing that Griffin has had knee injuries in the past, and knowing he is liable to take a lot of hits due to his running ability, it is good to have a back-up plan.
Cousins hasn’t disappointed when he’s gotten his opportunities either. He was thrown into a difficult situation in each game that he has played in. His first game was against the Atlanta Falcons when Griffin went out with a concussion. He entered the game late in third quarter, in a tightly contested match up, and threw a touchdown on his second possession. He followed that up with two interceptions as the Falcons eventually won, but once again an arduous situation to be placed in.
His second opportunity was versus the Baltimore Ravens where Griffin sprained his knee late in the fourth quarter. In comes Cousins. On the Redskins final drive he made a few big time throws, as he led them to a game tying touchdown and a two point conversion. The Redskins eventually won that game in overtime. Cousins started the next week against the Cleveland Browns and performed beautifully. In a must win game, he threw for 329 yards and two touchdowns leading to a victory.
Finally in a playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks, Griffin re-injured his knee and had to take a seat in the fourth quarter. Cousins was called upon, but couldn’t pull off any magic being down 24-14. Even by being placed in numerous pressure positions, Cousins never seemed to be rattled. He seems as if he is prepared to take the NFL on as a starting quarterback.
There have been reports stating that Griffin’s injury was more problematic than the Redskins have been entailing. So, what if Griffin doesn’t come back completely healthy? What if it takes him longer than eight months to be back to 100 percent? What if he comes back, but doesn’t have the ability to run as he once did? What then? Would that mean Kirk Cousins is the best option at quarterback moving forward?
A lof of questions to be answered going into the 2013 season for the Redskins. There are many “what if” scenarios to consider when involving their quarterback situation. You never know, that fourth-round draft pick in 2012 may have been used on Washington’s quarterback of the future.
Redskins columnist/Josiah Turner