Pat White is to play the entire game Thursday night (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Fourth-string quarterback Pat White will start the Washington Redskins’ preseason finale Thursday night in Tampa, Coach Mike Shanahan said Tuesday.

White will play the entire game unless he gets hurt, Shanahan said, adding that third-string quarterback Rex Grossman would play in that instance.

“Pat White will play the entire game unless he goes down,” Shanahan said. “If he goes down, Rex will go in. If he goes down, I’m going in. There’s nobody left.”

The Redskins are withholding starting quarterback Robert Griffin III from the entire preseason as Griffin works his way back from knee surgery in January. Top backup Kirk Cousins is not scheduled to play Thursday, either. He suffered a sprained right foot in the Redskins’ second preseason game and sat out Saturday’s game against the Buffalo Bills while Grossman and White split the playing time.

Most of the team’s starters are scheduled to sit out Thursday’s game against the Buccaneers.

White gets another chance to make an impression on the Redskins — and perhaps other NFL teams — as he tries to return to the league after missing the previous three seasons. The former West Virginia standout was a second-round draft selection by the Miami Dolphins in 2009 and played one season for the team.

“Pat took a few years off, going to play baseball,” Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said Tuesday. “I think he just started working at quarterback again at the end of January, early February. So Pat hasn’t been totally consistent in all his drops and the rhythm of the passing game and everything. But he’s gotten better each week. And I think he can still get a lot better. He’s only been working at it for the past six months.

“As everyone can see, Pat is a hell of a football player. He was in college. He shows you guys that during the games. And just the more football he’s around, the more he works at it, the better he’ll get. With the attitude he does have, he will get better. … I think it’s a matter of time that he can be as good as he wants.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag.

What’s ahead:

● The Redskins do not practice on Wednesday, and play at 7:30 in Tampa on Thursday.

● The second round of cuts, due by 4 p.m. Saturday, requires rosters to go from 75 to 53.

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