11:42am: Speaking today to reporters, including Tarik El-Bashir of CSNWashington.com (Twitter link), head coach Jay Gruden confirmed that Cousins will be Washington’s starting quarterback not just for Week 1, but for the 2015 season.
Jeff Darlington of the NFL Network tweets that Griffin’s camp may be caught off guard by this announcement, since they were led to believe Cousins starting Week 1 was a result of RGIII’s health, and the concussion protocol.
9:48am: With Robert Griffin III‘s health and long-term future in Washington in flux, the club has named Kirk Cousins its starting quarterback for Week 1, a source tells Dianna Marie Russini of ESPN.com (Twitter links). According to Russini, the team was informed by Washington staff this morning that Cousins will be the starter against the Dolphins.
The news comes on the heels of a Sunday report which indicated that a contingent of the Washington front office wants to move on from RGIII. While that report suggested that team ownership was opposed to a Griffin trade, Mike Jones of the Washington Post hears from two sources that Daniel Snyder isn’t blocking his front office and coaching staff from dealing the quarterback. A trade is unlikely for a handful of other factors though, including RGIII’s contract and his injury history. Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets that there have been no trade talks involving the QB.
Whatever the future holds for Griffin, he won’t be starting Washington’s Week 1 game, as Cousins has been penciled in for that role after a solid showing in the team’s preseason contest this past weekend. The former fourth-round pick, who turned 27 earlier this month, has nine career starts on his NFL resume, having played in 14 games in total. In his limited regular season action, Cousins has thrown more interceptions (19) than touchdowns (18), with a 59.0% completion percentage.
If Cousins struggles in the starting role and Griffin is unable to return to action, Colt McCoy would be the next man up in Washington. Both Cousins and McCoy are eligible for free agency after this season, while Washington still holds an option year on Griffin, currently guaranteed for injury only.