Cousins not sure how much he’ll play Thursday night

Robert Griffin III, Rex Grossman, Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins, right, says he expects to get at least 10 plays in Thursday night’s exhibition opener. (John McDonnell / The Washington Post)

RICHMOND—Quarterback Kirk Cousins said Tuesday he’s not sure how much playing time he’ll get in the Washington Redskins’ preseason opener Thursday night at Tennessee.

“I’ve learned through my years at Michigan State as well as here with the Redskins, it ebbs and flows,” Cousins said after Tuesday afternoon’s practice. “It’s hard to really say—10 plays, 15 plays, [the entire] first quarter. It’s hard to put a definitive number on it. But I expect to play a minimum of 10 plays, maximum of probably a quarter and just react to whatever happens. But I remember last year they would tell me, ‘You’re going the second half,’ and then I would finish the last series of the first half. So you’ve got to be ready to go. I’ll just react to whatever. I know one thing: The better we play, the sooner we’ll probably be pulled.”

Cousins is scheduled to start the game, with the Redskins planning to withhold Robert Griffin III from the entire preseason as he works his way back from knee surgery in January. Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said Monday that Cousins is likely to play more than a starter normally would in the second and third preseason games but not necessarily more in the opener.

“We’re gonna find out how comfortable I really am,” Cousins said. “But I feel like I’ve done everything I can up to this point. I feel like I’ve practiced hard. I’ve gotten a lot better. I’ve developed as a quarterback. As I’ve said, now we’ve got to see it happen in games and the first chance will be Thursday night. Just to get that chance to start a game, play with the number one offense, is invaluable experience that I’ll carry with me regardless of how it goes. Good, bad, indifferent—it’ll be something I can put in my back pocket as another thing I’ve done to be ready to go whenever my name gets called this season.”

Cousins said he thinks he’s had a good training camp so far working with the starting offense during full team drills in Griffin’s place.

“I think it’s been a good camp,” Cousins said. “I think I’ve improved as a quarterback, which you’re looking to do. I think that I’ve gotten stronger as the camp has gone on, which is also what you’re looking to do. I feel good with where I’m at but also know that I still have a long ways to go. I’ll be the first one to tell you I’m not satisfied in terms of being as good as where I need to be. But what I’ve done along the way, I feel good.”

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What’s ahead:

● Wednesday, the team has a walk-through, preparing for Thursday’s preseason opener in Tennessee.

● Camp in Richmond resumes Saturday. If you’re headed there, check our our guide to training camp for tips on getting autographs, where to park and things to do after the session is over.

● Posts Thursday morning on the rookies in the secondary and Tom Compton.

More on the Redskins and NFL:

DE Golston is always there for the Redskins

CB Hall won’t play against the Titans | All Insider posts

Observations from Tuesday’s practices | Previous days’ observations

D.C. Sports Bog: Snyder says Richmond has been ‘spectacular’ | More Bog & Redskins

The Early Lead: Manning brothers “rap” for DirecTV | Around the NFL

Training camp photo galleries: Aug. 3 to present | Start of camp through Aug. 2

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