Redskins confident in Kirk Cousins if he must play next week

The Redskins believe Kirk Cousins can lead them if Robert Griffin III can’t play next week. (AP)

Although the MRI conducted on Robert Griffin III’s knee showed no torn ligaments, there is no indication yet about Griffin’s availability for next Sunday’s game at Cleveland.

Redskins players said they are concerned about Griffin’s status but have confidence that fellow rookie Kirk Cousins can operate the offense at a high level if need be.

Playing for only the second time this season, Cousins (a fourth-round pick) entered  Sunday’s game against Baltimore with less than two minutes remaining and threw a touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon, then ran in a two-point conversion to tie the game at 28-28 with 29 seconds left on the clock.

“It’s a next-man-up type of league. Kirk did a great job, just came in and it speaks of his character,” guard Chris Chester said. “He has the natural ability to lead as well. He came in, didn’t miss a beat and called the play and got us ready to go.”

Having seen Cousins in preseason, his limited game action and in practices, the Redskins aren’t concerned about his abilities.

“If he comes in the game, he’s going to make all the throws,” receiver Josh Morgan said. “He’s been making them plays all year. You just don’t see it because he hasn’t played as much, but he’s been the same guy every day in practice, meetings in the locker room. He did it in the preseason, and expect him to do it now.”

Cousins has decent mobility, but not the speed to rival Griffin’s. Chester said the Redskins don’t have to change their offense significantly, because many of the plays in the team’s pistol formations aren’t designed runs for the quarterback.

Left tackle Trent Williams said that the responsibility will fall on the rest of the Redskins to ensure that there is no drop-off if Griffin can’t play.

“I have no idea what’s going to change or what’s not going to change. [Griffin] is a great player, and he was the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, so he does bring a different dynamic,” Williams said. “But last year, we did move the ball quite well and we didn’t have Robert. I’m not saying without him we’ll be fine, that goes unknown. But no matter what, we have to come out and play, whether he’s there or not. … [Cousins] is no slack, either. He’s a good quarterback, and we expected him to come and get us in the game.”

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