Kirk Cousins got the surprise start in last night’s preseason game against Baltimore after Robert Griffin III, the presumptive starter heading into the season, was deemed medically unready to play by an independent neurologist. In a series of tweets, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports passes on a few notes on the matter from Washington head coach Jay Gruden.
First, Gruden noted that the team had originally received a verbal report from an independent doctor that Griffin was cleared to play, and then it received an email report that contradicted the verbal and that compelled the club to make a sudden change within a 24-hour window. Also, despite an earlier report that Washington had already determined Cousins would be the Week 1 starter, Gruden stated that he would not announce anything until he had reviewed Griffin’s medicals. Per Mike Jones of The Washington Post (via Twitter), Griffin will receive further tests on Friday, and Jones added in a separate tweet that Gruden, GM Scot McCloughan, team president Bruce Allen, and owner Dan Snyder would have a “long talk” at some point in the near future to finalize Washington’s plans under center.
But even though Gruden would not announce a Week 1 starter last night, the fact that he would not commit to starting Griffin even if RGIII has been cleared to return is significant in and of itself, writes Rich Tandler of CSNWashington.com. John Keim of ESPN.com agrees, pointing out that Cousins was far from perfect in last night’s game, but that he did more than enough to reignite the quarterback controversy in Washington.
It looks like we won’t have a formal announcement until sometime next week at the earliest, but at the moment, Cousins seems to have the inside track on the starting job for Week 1. What happens beyond that is anyone’s guess.