DAVID ELFIN, Associated Press
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — The Washington Redskins have made a quarterback change: Kirk Cousins will be the starter this season, not Robert Griffin III.
“We feel like at this time, Kirk Cousins gives us the best chance to win,” coach Jay Gruden said, unseating Griffin, the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year. “It’s Kirk’s team.”
Griffin, who has struggled since tearing his right ACL and MCL in a January 2013 playoff loss to Seattle, was slated to start last Saturday’s preseason game at Baltimore before being scratched the previous day in the wake of a concussion suffered on Aug. 20 against Detroit.
Cousins, taken in the fourth round in the same draft that Griffin was chosen second overall, took over and led Washington’s starting offense to its first two touchdowns of the preseason.
“It’s not so much what somebody didn’t do; it’s just what Kirk has done . has really opened our eyes,” Gruden said.
Gruden added that Cousins “has taken a giant leap” since being benched in Week 7 of 2014 after committing 11 turnovers in five games.
“There’s something powerful about knowing you’re believed in, something powerful about knowing where you stand,” Cousins said.
With Griffin still in the NFL’s concussion protocol program, Gruden opted for Cousins, who was drafted along with Griffin in 2012 and has started nine games when Griffin has been hurt, going 2-7.
Gruden said the team still believes in Griffin, who has been plagued by injuries since leading the Redskins to the NFC East title.
Cousins will sit out the preseason finale Thursday against Jacksonville, with Colt McCoy playing the entire game.
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