Who backs up Griffin is important, Casserly said, because of the ever-present potential for injury to Griffin. Griffin missed Sunday’s game because of a sprained right knee suffered on a hit at the end of a scramble, and left a game in October with a concussion.
“He’s a terrific player already,” Casserly said of Griffin, the league’s second-rated passer behind Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers. “He’s only going to improve. He’s going to get even better as a pocket passer. But I think the style of play will expose him to injuries. The body build will expose him to injuries. You have to accept the fact that you have to go into the season believing that he probably won’t play all 16 games.”
In the final analysis, Casserly said he would be reluctant to trade Cousins.
“I’d be very wary of it,” Casserly said. “My number one thing is: Who replaces him? I wouldn’t do it on a blind shot. But I know it’s very tempting because with their salary cap issues, draft picks are very valuable.”
For now, the Redskins needn’t worry about such matters. They play Sunday at Philadelphia with a chance to clinch an NFC playoff berth if they win and the New York Giants, Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings lose. The Redskins are tied with the Giants and Dallas Cowboys atop the NFC East with 8-6 records.
Coach Mike Shanahan said Monday that Griffin will start against the Eagles if doctors declare his knee has healed well enough. If not, Cousins would start again. He threw for 329 yards and two touchdowns in the triumph over the Browns.
“I thought he really stepped up and played extremely well with a lot of poise during the game,” Shanahan said Monday.
Cousins continued to acknowledge Sunday that Griffin is the team’s unquestioned starter when healthy. But he also said he took a step toward proving he could start in the NFL.
“Time will tell and I’ll have other opportunities to prove myself,” he said Sunday. “I’m staying patient.. . . I’ll make the most of the opportunities I get. I’ve tried to do that through the preseason and through my opportunities during the regular season. We’ll see what happens.”