By Chris Lingebach

WASHINGTON — Kirk Cousins doesn’t want to put any added pressure on Redskins teammate Su’a Cravens.

Cravens, a second-round pick in 2016, stunned fans over the weekend after it was reported he would retire early, leading to the Redskins placing the second-year safety on the exempt/left squad list. That affords him one month to reconsider before other steps are taken.

Cousins admits he doesn’t know about about Cravens’ situation, but understands Cravens must do what’s best for he and his family.

“I haven’t talked to Su’a since I heard about it. I just heard about it the other day at practice,” Cousins told Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier during his weekly segment Tuesday — ‘Under Center,’ driven by the Lindsay Automotive Group.

“But he’s got to do what’s best for him, for his family, and I want to give him space to make that decision,” Cousins said. “He knows that we’re behind him, we’re supporting him. He’s a teammate of ours. He’s made a lot of plays for us. He is a great player, has a bright future.”

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“If he feels like coming back and helping our team is what he wants to do,” he said, “we’d welcome him with open arms and want him to help us however he can. We’re gonna give him his time, though, and let him do what he needs to do, and give him his space and hopefully it can all work out, and he can get back and be in a good place and be ready to help us here shortly.”

Cousins was as surprised as the next guy to hear the news, which arrived on Sunday, only one day after final roster cuts were announced.

“I mean, you just aren’t expecting to hear anything like that,” he said. “But, boy. Around this time of the year, there’s a lot of surprising news with who was cut, who was traded, who was picked up by other teams and where they’re ending up.

“Boy. There’s just so much turnover and change in this league and nobody’s every comfortable. Nobody ever feels safe. None of us feel like we’ve got it made or like it’s figured out. You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and that is the tough reality of this league.”

“And I think when I was on the outside as a young person, or a college athlete, hoping to someday be in the NFL, you don’t realize how much of a grind, and how challenging this league can be, and how much it will test you, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally,” he said.

“You have to be TOUGH to last in this league,” Cousins added. “It’ll make you question, ‘Do I want to do this? Do I have what it takes?’ But, as Coach Shanahan always said, ‘Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.’ I believe that, if you choose to be a tough person and stick through it and fight it out, usually good things happen in the end and you’ll be proud of the fact that you did.”

Justice Federal Credit Union Fan Question of the Week

Message to the fans for Week 1? — Alex in Centreville

“Nothing special or new or unique,” Cousins said. “I think we understand as players it’s go time now. Everything up until this point has been dress rehearsals and preparation. We understand that Sunday at 1 o’clock, it matters, and really, all that matters is the win.”

“It may not always be perfect,” he said. “If you look back at our last several games against the Eagles, it hasn’t always been perfect. I’ve thrown a pick-six in the last two times we’ve played them, I had a bonehead play taking a knee two seasons ago when we played the Eagles right before the half. Before that, it came down to a 90-yard, two-minute drive on one of the last plays of the game, hitting Pierre in a tight window.”

“So the last four times we’ve played them have come down to the very end,” he said. “It’s taken everything we have. And I would say to the fans: expect no different on Sunday.”

“It’s going to be an absolute battle, and so many of these games come down to the last two minutes, and we expect this one to be a real challenge. We’re going to prepare really hard this week to be ready to go and give the fans something to cheer about and be proud of. Expect it to be an absolute dogfight and that’s the mindset we have going into this week.”

Follow @ChrisLingebach and @1067TheFan on Twitter


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