From the day the 2016 NFL schedule was released, Oct. 2 was a date all Redskins fans circled. And highlighted. And bolded. Because Oct. 2 marked a date with the Cleveland Browns, a game that was supposed to feature the return of Robert Griffin III.
A familiar sight for Washington watchers, however — an injury to RG3, which he suffered in Week 1 against the Eagles — has prevented that storyline from coming true. Instead, the Browns will start Cody Kessler under center, meaning Kirk Cousins won't get a chance to square off with his fellow 2012 draftee, meaning this Sunday doesn't mean nearly as much as it would've if a healthy No. 10 was heading back to FedEx Field.
Or, that's what some are saying.
"This is a dead week," Eric Bickel of the Sports Junkies said on Thursday's show. "This was supposed to be our Super Bowl for sports talk radio. And people are like, 'Eh, this is great, boring's good.' They just don't understand our business."
"They don't work in this biz," John "Cakes" Auville chimed in, lamenting the phone calls and hot takes that were lost when Griffin went down.
"They dont understand how it works around here. And this was supposed to be, really Cakes, one of the best weeks of the year," Bickel said. "We've been pointing to it for months," Cakes added.
"This was really supposed to be an amazing week, and, you know, the big story is, we lost our center," E.B. concluded.
"You're also coming off a win, you can get to 2-2," J.P. Flaim pointed out, trying to prove to his despondent buddies that the game still carries a lot of meaning.
"Even that pales in comparison to Robert's return," Cakes responded.
Now, it's easy to understand why the Junkies are a little down. E.B. is a noted Griffin guy, so not getting a chance to see one of his beloved ex-'Skins definitely hurts. Plus, as mentioned earlier, the morning is a lot quieter when there's no Griffin-Cousins/Griffin's revenge/Griffin's going to get what's been coming for him angles to yell about.
But, RG3's absence notwithstanding, Sunday should still mean plenty for the Burgundy and Gold and their fans. Because, while not having the polarizing passer to watch removes some national intrigue from the contest, the Redskins can't afford to lose an ounce of interest as kickoff approaches.
A win helps the home side even up their record, which absolutely matters in a year where the NFC East looks improved. Building off of last week's victory in New York would be a giant step in the right direction after a lackluster start. A loss, meanwhile, sends this city right back to the edge of the cliff. The edge of the cliff isn't a fun spot to be in.
Therefore, it's necessary for people in the area to ask themselves a question: What's more fun, having a controversial player to talk about from Monday to Friday, or having a franchise coming off of a win to talk about on Sunday?
The answer shouldn't be up for debate. The Redskins need to go all in for Week 4, Griffin or no Griffin.
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