Instead of getting caught up in a guessing game, the Browns are preparing as if they’re going to face standout rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III on Sunday when the Washington Redskins come to town.
Griffin, the second overall pick in this year's draft, tested his mildly sprained right knee in practice today, but his status for Sunday is not clear. If he doesn’t play, fellow rookie Kirk Cousins will start at quarterback for the Redskins.
“We truly are preparing as if [Griffin is] playing,” rookie free safety Tashaun Gipson said this afternoon following practice. “That’s the report out of this camp. [The injury] looked a lot worse than what the camp is saying. But you’ve got to respect what they’re saying. They’re saying he’s going to play. So definitely right now our main focus is preparing as if we’re going to see No. 10 [Griffin] out there.”
Gipson acknowledged it’s difficult to simulate Griffin’s skills in practice. Browns backup quarterback Colt McCoy is playing the role of Griffin in practice this week.
“Not too many teams got a backup quarterback that can do the things [Griffin] can do,” Gipson said. “Colt definitely is giving us good looks to say the least, but being out there playing against No. 10 is a whole different ballgame in itself. You can never duplicate a talent like that, a guy who’s one of the faster guys in the league, can also throw as well as [display] good decision making. Not to take anything away from Colt, he’s definitely giving us great looks on the defensive side of the ball, and that’s all we can do at this point.”
Griffin suffered a sprain of the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee late in the fourth quarter Sunday when Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata tackled him. Cousins, a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft, threw a touchdown pass and ran for a two-point conversion to force overtime in the Redskins’ 31-28 win over the Ravens.
“We don’t have much film on Cousins outside of the preseason and the last minute of the last game,” Gipson said. “He’s definitely capable, but not to disrespect him, he’s not a Robert Griffin. So we’re preparing for Robert Griffin, and if we see Cousins come out there and he takes the first snaps under center and that’s who’s going to be the quarterback of the day, we’re just going to adjust on the fly and go from there. But as of right now, we’re looking at it as we’re playing RG3.”