Robert Griffin III back at QB

ByJohn Keim ESPN logo
Sunday, December 14, 2014

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, who was benched three weeks ago, returned to the lineup Sunday afternoon, but whether he's back there next week against Philadelphia remains to be seen.

Griffin completed 18-of-27 passes for 236 yards and one touchdown Sunday, but it wasn't enough, as the New York Giants beat the Redskins 24-13. Washington (3-11) has lost six straight. After the game, coach Jay Gruden said he's not sure who will start against the Eagles on Saturday.

Before naming a starter, Gruden said he wants to watch the film and learn more about the extent of starter Colt McCoy's injury. He wants to see how badly McCoy aggravated the neck injury that caused him to leave the game after the first series.

"[Griffin] is obviously in the mix," Gruden said. "He came out here and competed, which I liked. Made some good throws and made some great plays with his legs, but from a consistent standpoint, the production on third downs and the lack of production in the second half [offensively] was concerning. I'll have to check the film to give him a total grade."

Griffin called it "coaches decision" as far as what he thought the decision might -- or should -- be.

"No matter what he decides, I'll be ready," Griffin said. "That's the approach you have to take. No one thought I'd go in as early as I did today. ... My mindset is always to be the guy, and in every quarterback's mind, you are the guy."

Griffin was able to make plays with his legs, as well, and ran five times for 46 yards. He had an 8-yard dash at the end of the first half that was initially ruled a touchdown. But after review, it was ruled Griffin had lost possession of the ball before crossing the goal line. After regaining it, he then needed to hold on to the ball as he landed. Instead, Griffin fumbled and went out of bounds with the ball, which resulted in a touchback.

McCoy was taken to the locker room after his first series in Sunday's game against the Giants. McCoy, who was questionable because of an aggravated nerve in his neck, was hit hard at the end of a scramble on Washington's opening possession.

Griffin was benched following a Nov. 23 loss to San Francisco, which raised numerous questions about his future. The Redskins have to decide on a fifth-year option by May 3. They could opt to try to trade him, or bring him back to see if he makes any progress after another offseason of work in Gruden's system and transitioning to a dropback passer.

McCoy completed four of seven passes for 39 yards and ran two times for 24 yards on the opening drive, which resulted in a field goal. McCoy later returned to the field, but Griffin remained in the game.

The offense was more productive in the first half, as Griffin completed nine of 15 throws for 140 yards and a touchdown for a 113.2 passer rating. The Redskins were 3-of-7 on third downs in the first 30 minutes and 4-of-14 for the game.

In the second half, Griffin completed nine of 12 passes but for only 96 yards, with 61 coming on one throw. Griffin was sacked five times in the second half, as the protection broke down and some passes weren't delivered. Griffin got up slowly after some of the hits in the second half.

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