“He got tangled up a couple times,” Redskins Coach Jay Gruden said Wednesday.
Gruden said the injury is not serious and doesn’t think Keenum will miss any games, noting that the team is being cautious about the injury. But the quarterback’s absence raised questions about who will be the Redskins’ starting quarterback Sunday.
If Keenum can’t go, will the starter be this year’s first-round draft pick, Dwayne Haskins, whom many in the national media are calling for Gruden to start with the team off to an 0-3 start? Or will it be Colt McCoy, who participated in the walk-through Wednesday, returning for the first time since mid-August after having a setback in his recovery from three offseason leg surgeries?
When pressed on the subject during his Wednesday news conference, Gruden first said, “Right now, it’s Dwayne.”
Later, he said, “Obviously, if Case can’t play, then the backup usually does play.”
But will McCoy have passed Haskins by then?
“There’s a chance that could happen. I don’t know yet,” Gruden said. “We just want to get through today. It was just a walk-through. Tomorrow we’ll see where Case is. I assume Case will be able to play, he’s a tough guy, and then we will be able to go with the ‘ifs’ tomorrow and Friday.”
Gruden does not seem to want to play Haskins against the Giants on Sunday unless he must. While Redskins coaches have been excited about the rookie quarterback’s development, they have also been careful to point out that he still has much to learn. Despite Keenum turning the ball over five times in Monday’s loss to Chicago, Gruden was adamant after the game that he thinks Keenum and not Haskins gives the team the best opportunity to win.
McCoy knows Gruden’s offense the best of any of the quarterbacks, having been with the coach for all six of Gruden’s seasons in Washington. He seemed well positioned to win the starting job the first two weeks of camp before the pain returned in his leg and he had to stop practicing.
Keenum learned the offense quickly after being traded to the Redskins on March 13. He has thrown for 933 yards and seven touchdowns in the first three games but also had the five turnovers against Chicago after doing a good job of taking care of the ball the first two weeks.
McCoy has been working on the side, even throwing on the field before recent games. He has been anxious to return.
“We have to see how he’s feeling mentally and physically,” Gruden said. “If he’s ready to go, I’ll have to make that decision and I’ll see where Dwayne is as far as the game plan prep is concerned. If I feel great about Dwayne and Case can’t go, we’ll go with Dwayne, but we got a little ways to go before I make any crazy decisions.”
He added: “We’re being overly protective of [Keenum’s] foot right now."
Also missing Wednesday’s practice were tight end Jordan Reed, who is still recovering from a concussion, and guard Brandon Scherff (ankle) and center Chase Roullier (knee). Gruden said he hopes that at least one of the injured linemen will be able to play Sunday.
Cornerback Quinton Dunbar and linebacker Cassanova McKinzy were listed as limited. The team signed tight end Jerome Cunningham, a former member of the Giants and Detroit Lions.
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