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Mum's The Word On Starting Quarterback

Posted Dec 13, 2012

If head coach Mike Shanahan knows who will lead the offense on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, he isn't saying anything--and neither are they.

If head coach Mike Shanahan knows who will start for the Redskins on Sunday, he isn't saying anything. 

With starting quarterback Robert Griffin III limited in practice (LCL sprain) and Kirk Cousins fresh off a comeback overtime win, the Redskins' game plan is full of contingency plans.

"You never know," Shanahan said on Griffin III's status.  "That is why you go day-by-day and we will see at the end of the week if he is full speed, ready to go. If he is, he will play."

The best indicator of playing time on Sunday is who takes the lion's share of snaps in practice.  Both quarterbacks were advised not to divulge this information to the media on Wednesday.

"I was advised not to comment on the rep distribution, so I'm sorry but I'm not going to say anything along those lines," Cousins said.  "Just to protect my team and give us the best chance to win on Sunday."

Griffin III described himself as "the happiest guy in the world" after learning his diagnosis on Monday.  With that being said, he was hesistant to classify how he felt after his first day of practice.

“I’ve got to leave that to Coach [Mike Shanahan] to say, but I did enough," he said. "I did enough to give myself the confidence to push it tomorrow and then on Friday."

Griffin III tore his right ACL in 2009 while starting at Baylor, and was shut down for the season. 

With only a Grade 1 sprain of a lesser ligament in the knee, Griffin III said playing was unlikely to compromise the structural integrity of the rest of his knee.

"They haven’t talked to me much about that," he told the media. "With a Grade 1 LCL sprain, I don’t know if you are in danger of hurting any other ligament, but I’ll wear a brace and go on from there."

Griffin III reported no problems with everyday activities like walking, running and climbing stairs, which gave him confidence to return to the practice field. Once out there, he reported no pain in planting and throwing the ball, something that appeared to give him trouble in Sunday's game.

One thing that Griffin III must prove to his coaches and himself is that he can protect himself on the field in soggy forecasted weather conditions.

"I think one gauge is will I be able to make instinctive moves without thinking about it," he said.  "I couldn’t do that in 2009 off an ACL. I could control my movements but whenever I make a quick decision, I couldn’t really plant and go. I try to do a little bit of that whenever you can’t see your leg or plan that you’re going to make a certain movement. Can you make that explosive step?

"I was able to do that today. Hopefully I’ll be able to do it more and more throughout the week."

As the Redskins continue their push for the playoffs, Griffin III understands that the most important factor is whether or not he can best help his teammates on the field or on the bench.

"It’s about the team. If I feel like I can get the team the best chance to win, then I’ll play," he said.  "If I can make sure I ensure my safety out there and my health and my career, then I’ll go out there and play. And if not, then I won’t."

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