Jay Gruden says starters will sit out Redskins’ final preseason game

After the Washington Redskins’ poor showing on offense in Saturday night’s 23-17 preseason loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Coach Jay Gruden reiterated starters would sit out the final preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Although the first-team offense failed to score a touchdown in the preseason, Gruden still plans to play it safe.

Jay Gruden

Jay Gruden on Saturday night. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

“We’ve been together a long time, from organized team activities and training camp,” Gruden said. “We’ve seen enough out of them [the starters] that we feel good about who our starters are. The main thing is you don’t want to force another drive or two down their throat and lose a key player.”

Gruden always planned to sit the starters against Tampa Bay. He wants to evaluate the backups as much as possible in anticipation of setting the opening 53-man roster. Washington kicks off the season Sept. 7 against the Houston Texans.

“It’s time for the backups to play and see what they can do,” Gruden said. “They’re going to play a lot of key snaps as well [during the regular season]. Obviously, you want to see more positive production from your group. It didn’t happen. We’ll just have to wait until Houston.”

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