Kirk Cousins and many of the Redskins’ other healthy first stringers are expected to start in Sunday’s regular season finale, Jay Gruden confirmed Thursday afternoon after a few days of deliberation.
How much Cousins and the others play at AT&T Stadium, though, remains to be seen.
“Right now, we’re approaching it [as] if they’re dressed, they’re playing,” Gruden said after practice. “Kirk is getting ready to start the football game. Jordan Reed is getting ready. All our guys are starting.”
Gruden then added an important qualifier.
“They’re getting ready to play the game, and then how I substitute throughout the course of the game will be dependent on how we’re doing health-wise and the situation of the game,” he said.
In other words, if the game turns into a blowout one way or the other, he’ll probably pull the starters early.
Gruden also acknowledged that he’ll give some consideration to the records/milestones Cousins and Reed are approaching. Cousins is 120 yards from Jay Schroeder’s franchise record for passing yards in a season (among several others), while Reed needs a catch to break Chris Cooley’s team record for receptions by a tight end in a season. With 93 more yards, Reed can also become the first tight end in Redskins’ history to record a 1,000-yard season.
“Those guys put in a lot of work,” Gruden said. “I think those records do mean something to them. They mean something to the entire offense, the entire team quite frankly.”
“So,” Gruden added, “hopefully they’ll have a chance to get it. But if not, it won’t be the end of the world. It won’t be a disappointment, but I think it’ll be exiting if they do.”