Cousins left FedEx Field on crutches and in a walking boot. X-ray results came back negative, but the quarterback still will have an MRI exam Tuesday morning to provide a clearer indication of the extent of the injury.
“They feel like it’s mild right now, so that’s a good sign,” Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said before later adding, “He’ll get an MRI tomorrow. But at least it was a good sign with the doctors today.”
Meanwhile, orthopedist and team consultant James Andrews observed Griffin for the first time since late July and met with team officials to discuss the quarterback’s recovery. But he wasn’t expected to make a decision on whether Griffin should open the season as Washington’s starter or wait longer before returning.
The injury to Cousins overshadowed a victorious effort at FedEx Field by the Redskins, who improved to 2-0 on the preseason.
Despite the uncertainty hovering over Griffin and his reconstructed right knee, the Redskins have expressed confidence throughout the offseason about the stability of their quarterback position because of Cousins’s presence on the roster.
As a rookie, the Michigan State product performed well in place of Griffin, and Cousins took the bulk of the first-team snaps in the offseason to ensure his readiness if Griffin suffered a setback in his recovery.
Cousins reinforced the Redskins’ confidence in him with a strong showing in the preseason opener just over a week ago and looked to build on that against the Steelers.
But the opposite happened. Cousins and the offense put up pedestrian numbers in two first-quarter series. The quarterback completed 2 of 3 pass attempts for 19 yards and was sacked once, and the offense went 0 for 2 on third down on his drives.
Shanahan’s original plan called for Cousins to play roughly one half, but Cousins lasted just more than a quarter before he was injured on a running play.
On first and 10 from his own 20, Cousins scrambled up the middle for a seven-yard gain. On the next play, Cousins rolled out. Finding no one open, he scrambled again, gaining another seven yards before getting knocked out bounds by Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons. Cousins grabbed his right foot, stood up and limped to the huddle, but he sat down shortly after and pointed to his right foot as trainers rushed out to him.
“I felt it initially, and as I was walking back to the huddle, I started to self-evaluate about could I change directions if needed and be an athlete, and I started feeling it and decided, ‘You know what? Preseason game No. 2 with a long season ahead of us, now is not the time to try to be a hero,’ ” Cousins said.