THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CLEVELAND — Robert Griffin III won’t be running wild or throwing passes for the Redskins. He can only watch them.
Washington’s electrifying rookie quarterback is inactive for Sunday’s game against the Browns, eliminating any chance of him helping his teammates continue their NFC playoff push.
Griffin sprained his right knee last week against Baltimore, and after days of speculation about his playing status, the Redskins announced late Saturday night that rookie Kirk Cousins will start.
Cousins, who came off the bench last week against Baltimore after Griffin got hurt, will make his first career start and veteran Rex Grossman will be Washington’s No. 2 QB. Grossman has been inactive for every other game this season.
Griffin sustained a mild sprain of the lateral collateral ligament when he took a scary hit from Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata following a 13-yard run late in the fourth quarter. He was limited in practice all week, but as of Friday it appeared he might play and coach Mike Shanahan was keeping tight lipped about his young star’s status.
The 22-year-old RG3 was one of the first players on the field Sunday morning. He seemed to be moving well with a brace on his knee. At that point, it still wasn’t official that he would not be inactive, and the Redskins (7-6) didn’t make it known that No. 10 would suit up at all until 90 minutes before kickoff.
The Browns spent all week preparing to face Griffin, who is tied with New England’s Tom Brady for the league lead in passer rating and who has dazzled opponents and fans with his speed and arm strength.
His absence could be a break for the Browns (5-8). Cleveland has won three straight games and is still in the playoff chase after starting the season 0-5.
Cousins rallied the Redskins in the fourth quarter last week, throwing a late touchdown pass and ran for a 2-point conversion before the Ravens won in overtime. Washington selected Cousins in the fourth round of April’s draft. The former Michigan State star was somewhat of surprise pick because the Redskins had already selected Griffin after trading several picks to St. Louis to move up to get last season’s Heisman Trophy winner.
Cousins also played earlier this season after Griffin sustained a concussion against Atlanta. He has completed 7 of 11 passes for 137 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.