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Redskins May Bench RGIII For Season

by Chuck Carroll
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A glum Robert Griffin III. (credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Season over for Robert Griffin III? (credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

ASHBURN, Va. (CBSDC) — Mike Shanahan says a decision has not been made regarding Robert Griffin III’s status for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.

If Kirk Cousins starts in place of Griffin in Atlanta, he would be deemed the Redskins starter for the remainder of the season.

UPDATE: The Redskins have confirmed Griffin’s season is over.

With turmoil continuing to swirl around the head coach of the Washington Redskins, Shanahan said the quarterback decision would be made with the future of the franchise in mind.

“Anytime you have 24 sacks in the last five games and you go against a team that’s had two sacks in five games and you give up six, and you’re always taking a look at what’s in the best interest of your organization,” said Shanahan. “You’ve got your franchise quarterback, you want to make sure going into the offseason that he’s healthy, that he goes through a full offseason program.”

Shanahan had previously stated it was important for Griffin to receive as much game experience as possible to develop, but now appears unnerved by the 38 sacks the second-year quarterback has taken this season. In his rookie season Griffin was sacked a total of 30 times.

“If something did happen to him, I think it would set our franchise back,” he said.

Should Washington opt to play Cousins for the duration of the season, he’s hopeful Griffin would understand the situation and the reason behind the decision.

Shanahan and the organization spent much of last offseason defending criticism that the already hobbled Griffin should have been pulled from the wild-card playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks long before fully tearing the ACL and LCL ligaments in his right knee.

“Hopefully Robert will understand why we’re doing it,” he said. “We’re doing it because he’s a franchise quarterback and we want him to be able to go into the offseason and get full preparation and be ready for next year rather than playing in one of the next three games and all of the sudden he sets himself back.”

When Cousins took over in the fourth quarter Sunday, Kansas City was firmly ahead and victory was unattainable for Washington.

The embattled coach said he had not yet spoken with the quarterbacks about the possibility of a change, but has already held court with owner Daniel Snyder.

“Oh, believe me I would definitely talk to the owner before I did something like that,” Shanahan said.

Shanahan says he expects to make a final decision by Wednesday.

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