Column: RG3 back this week? Say it ain’t so

WASHINGTON — Tuesday, we got word that Robert Griffin III was very, very, very close to returning to the Washington Redskins’ lineup after missing most of the last six games.

Then Wednesday, Dianna Russini of NBC4 reported that vague term actually means this coming Sunday in Minnesota.

Russini does good work and I don’t doubt her sources. But boy, I hope this is wrong.

Don’t get it twisted; I want RG3 back in the Redskins lineup. I thought Kirk Cousins could get the job done in 2014 and I was loud wrong. Griffin is far and away the biggest talent on the team and is the best option at quarterback in the long term.

Note I said “the long term.”

In the short term, I question whether the timing is right. After the Vikings game, the ‘Skins get a bye week. Why not let RG3 spend this week easing his way back into the grind, give him full starter reps the next two weeks, and then turn him loose at home against the awful Bucs?

Furthermore, we learned last year that healthy doesn’t equal ready. I don’t care whether doctors clear him to play or how good his ankle feels. This is the same dude who was “All In For Week 1” and didn’t look anywhere near ready for a full 60 minutes of weekly competition until mid-season.

Griffin hasn’t played a snap of competitive pro football in a month and a half. Which scenario looks better for a rusty quarterback: Playing the Vikings defense on a short week (they’re ranked 8th in yardage allowed and 12th in scoring), or getting two weeks to prepare for a Tampa squad ranked dead last in nearly every defensive category?

After all, there’s no rush now that Cousins is out as the starter.

Colt McCoy is now the man under center, and all he’s done is play well enough to win in Dallas Monday night and get a win in relief of a struggling Cousins the week before. He’s clearly a competent (yet unspectacular) option that won’t outright win you the game, but also won’t kill you like Cousins did.

I just hope the men in charge (Bruce Allen, Jay Gruden, etc.) are making a football decision and nothing more. I hope this isn’t to appease RGIII’s psyche or silence any conceivable QB controversy (imagine how McCoy jerseys would sell if he wins back-to-back road games to get the ‘Skins near .500 in the mediocre NFC).

That’s not what this should be about. It should be about who gives you the best chance to win in a given week.

This week, the Redskins’ best chance to beat Minnesota and enter their bye with a 4-5 record is to start McCoy and have RG3 locked and loaded if Colt 45 starts shooting blanks.

Which likely means the ‘Skins will go in another direction and make 3-6 starts an annual occurrence in Washington.

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