“I’m going to do all I can to take this opportunity and run with it, and hopefully provide great quarterback play all season long,” Cousins said.
The decision comes two days after Cousins played well against the Baltimore Ravens, leading the starting offense to two touchdowns. It also follows a meeting between Gruden, general manager Scot McCloughan, team president Bruce Allen and owner Daniel Snyder.
Gruden had said Saturday that he was given the indication that he would have the freedom to pick his quarterback, and he has now settled on Cousins.
Gruden said on Monday that he changed quarterbacks because of performance — “Kirk’s performance” — not because of Griffin’s injury. Gruden said he took into account the entire offseason’s worth of practices.
All three quarterbacks took the field for Washington’s practice Monday morning. But unlike last week, when Griffin handled all of the first reps in both team and individual drills, even though he hadn’t been cleared for game play, it was Cousins first in line.
Cousins took the first reps during drills for handoffs to running backs. Griffin followed, then Colt McCoy went. On the next segment, it was Cousins, McCoy and then Griffin third.
Griffin will not play in this week’s preseason game, because he will not receive additional testing for his concussion until Thursday or Friday, Gruden said.
Gruden said that because Griffin was still following the protocol for recovery following a concussion, he has not decided whether he or Colt McCoy would be the No. 2 quarterback during the regular season.
The news that Washington plans to start Cousins in Week 1 was first reported by ESPN.
This post first published at 10:43 a.m. It has been updated several times.
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