Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, August 29, the day the Washington Redskins play the Baltimore Ravens.
A cloud of uncertainty will remain
After having a fairly positive training camp in Richmond, the Redskins have not had much go well since returning to Ashburn. To recap the last 12 days at Redskins Park:
—Robert Griffin III was widely quoted as saying he believes he is the best quarterback in the NFL. The remark was taken out of context but that did not keep it from being fodder for blogs and radio and TV talk shows.
—There was a very visible debate involving Griffin and team PR officials over whether or not the quarterback should address the media following the first practice after his “best” comments.
—Griffin and the first team offense looked awful in their Thursday preseason game against the Lions. In four possessions they mustered just one first down and Griffin was hit six times on eight pass dropbacks.
—During that game the Redskins lost special teams captain Adam Hayward for the season with a torn ACL.
—Griffin left the game and it was announced that he was being examined for a possible head injury. Despite media reports that Griffin had passed concussion testing, including one from the team’s own broadcast network, Jay Gruden announced after the game that Griffin did indeed have a concussion.
—Outside linebacker Junior Galette, who was going to be a key part of the Redskins’ pass rush, was lost for the season with a torn Achilles tendon he suffered late in practice. He was to make his preseason game debut on Saturday.
—On Thursday Griffin held a rather odd news conference where he said that he doesn’t know when or even if he suffered a concussion. He also said, “I just work here” as part of a response to a question about being in the Lions game for four series despite taking some hard hits. A few hours after Griffin’s news conference the team sent out an announcement that he had been cleared to play through the NFL’s concussion protocol.
—On Friday, it was announced that the decision to let Griffin play against the Redskins had been reversed.
The week already was strange before Griffin was taken out of Saturday’s game. And that action robbed the Redskins of a chance to change the narrative.
Had Griffin come in and played well against the Ravens, the conversation would have gone from the tumult at Redskins Park to Griffin and an offense that had turned things around. It would not have taken much, maybe a touchdown drive, a field goal, and a minimal number of sacks and Griffin generally looking better than he did against the Lions. The noise would have died down and the talk could shift to football and preparations for the team’s season opener on September 13.
To be sure, there was no guarantee that such a positive scenario would take place if Griffin was allowed to play. But there was a chance.
But now with Kirk Cousins likely to work with the first team offense the forecast is for more turmoil. If the plays well, Washington will instantly be in full-blown quarterback controversy mode two weeks before the season opener. If he plays poorly, fans and the media will rightly wonder if the team can even match the four wins they got last year. Either that or take hope in Colt McCoy as the savior.
A lack of clarity regarding Griffin has been one of the big clouds hanging over Redskins Park. And it’s not going away.
—Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Ravens, M&T Bank Stadium, 7:30, Comcast SportsNet
—It’s been 244 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 15 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.
—Days until: Final cuts 7; Rams @ Redskins 22; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 26
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- Ravens game is vital for Redskins’ bubble players
- Has Redskins QB Cousins shaken his interception problems?