Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson called Robert Griffin III’s benching “an unfortunate situation” for the quarterback, but he also expressed relief that the coaching staff had finally settled on a starter.
“It’s an unfortunate situation to be in, obviously,” Jackson said Tuesday at Redskins Park. “I have a good relationship with [Griffin]. He’s a good guy. He does all the right things. It’s unfortunate he has to be in a situation like that.”
Griffin, of course, was shown to the bench for the third time in three seasons Monday by Coach Jay Gruden, who tapped Kirk Cousins to be the team’s starter.
Just 16 months ago, though, Griffin was among the Redskins players leading the team’s pursuit of Jackson, then a free agent after being let go by the Eagles.
“This is the game we’re in,” Jackson said. “This is the league we’re in. It’s the NFL, and nothing is for certain. I had to learn that for myself a couple of years ago, going through my situation.”
Jackson added: “The best advice I could tell [Griffin] is to keep his head high. And when an opportunity presents itself, and he has another opportunity to play again—wherever it’s going to be in this league—I think he’ll do what he needs to do to get it done.”
Jackson did, however, acknowledge that it was important for Gruden to settle on a starter well in advance of the regular season opener.
“As far as the offense,” Jackson said, “it means a lot to [for us to know] who is going to be the starter. So we can kinda prepare and do the things we need to do get ourselves, our body of work ready before the first game of the season. So I think it’s good, to know for certain, who’s going to be that guy.”
Jackson, who suffered a sprained shoulder in training camp, won’t play in the preseason finale against Jaguars on Thursday night. But he said he’ll be 100-percent for the regular season opener against the Dolphins.
“I’m good, I’m ready to go,” Jackson said. “If today was September 13th, I’d be ready to go.”
Gruden said he likes what he’s seen from Jackson in practice this week, but added that the 28-year-old still needs to work his way back into “football shape.”
“He was out there the last two days running full-go,” Gruden said. “He’s in good shape, but football shape is a little but different than running on a treadmill or an elliptical.”