Look around the NFL tonight, and the players throwing passes in the second half will largely be guys with little chance of making the regular season roster. The logic is simple: the fourth preseason game is essential only to a few players fighting for a roster spot, special teams players and rookies, generally not quarterbacks.
Look to Washington, however, and that is not the case. While most starting quarterbacks don't even suit up for the fourth game, even the backups see light action. For the Redskins though, the unique QB situation means Colt McCoy will play the entire game Thursday night against Jacksonville.
Yes, the same McCoy that started four games for the 'Skins in 2014. Yes, the same McCoy that was the only QB not benched for poor play last season. Yes, the same McCoy that guided Washington to their best win of 214, a Monday night victory in Dallas.
Yes, that McCoy will be playing in the fourth quarter of the fourth preseason game, likely throwing to receivers with little chance of making the roster, and more importantly, playing behind offensive linemen likely to be cut.
Does it make sense? Hardly.
The suggestion here isn't that Kirk Cousins or Robert Griffin III should play. Cousins is now locked in to start Week 1, and keeping his health is paramount. Griffin is unlikely to be cleared from a concussion suffered in the second week of the preseason, so he is not an option either. The reality is the 'Skins don't really have a good option to play quarterback Thursday, perhaps highlighting the overall absurdity of the fourth preseason game.
McCoy is a five-year NFL veteran. Washington coach Jay Gruden knows what he has in McCoy, as does the rest of the league. He does not need these reps. McCoy deserves better than playing the second half of the fourth preseason game, but one downfall of the extended quarterback carousel circling in Washington is that there is no room for developing young or rookie QBs, the type that usually suit up in the fourth preseason game.
The good news for McCoy is he moves well in and out of the pocket. By the fourth quarter Thursday night, he may need to.
Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.