WASHINGTON — Arguably the most exciting part of football besides actual football is a budding quarterback controversy.
The NFL is a league of stars, and quarterbacks are the brightest. The more offenses shift to spread, pass-heavy attacks and read option looks, the more true this becomes. No other player on the field has as much direct impact on his team’s success and failure.
We didn’t have to wait long for a quarterback controversy to hit Washington this year. Depending on who you believe, we had one before the season even began, as Robert Griffin III struggled and Kirk Cousins looked strong in the preseason, albeit against reserve players, many of whom did not survive final roster cuts.
But when Griffin’s left ankle gave way — without breaking — into the FedExField turf Sunday afternoon, a full-fledged quarterback controversy was born.
Coach Jay Gruden told the press Monday that Griffin does not need surgery and is expected back at some point this year, but would not give an estimated time table. Instead, he said Griffin would be reevaluated “in a couple weeks” to see what kind of progress he had made.
Gruden also said he has “total faith he’ll bounce back as good as ever,” but couched any indication of whether or not Griffin would regain his starting job upon his return.
With so much up in the air, we convened our NFL roundtable to look at what we know, what we need to look for and how we expect Washington’s most exciting race this fall to shake out.
RG3’s ankle is not broken and he is expected to return at some point this year. Is this a good thing for the Redskins?
Sports Reporter George Wallace:
It’s really good news that it’s not broken. I also think it’s a good thing that the team is not giving a timetable for his return. First of all, keep everyone in the league guessing. Secondly, the moment you put a timetable on it, the questions start coming fast and furious as to that exact time. This way, they keep all options open and let the chips fall where they may. Once the cast comes off, they will have a better idea.
Sports Reporter Rob Woodfork: Yes and no…yes, if Cousins flames out and they need RG3 back. No, if Cousins plays like he did Sunday and coach Jay Gruden is forced to make a franchise-altering decision between the two in- season.
Digital Sports Editor Noah Frank: To me, this can’t possibly be a bad thing, unless they rush him back too quickly (see: last year). I’m sure they’re thanking their lucky stars they didn’t actually trade Cousins this offseason, but when it comes down to it, he hasn’t proven anything yet. Even if Cousins performs well, a healthy Griffin is almost certainly an upgrade.
Kirk Cousins looked great