The struggling Robert Griffin III will take a seat on Sunday, as Kirk Cousins will start at quarterback for the Redskins in Atlanta, a team source confirmed to ESPN's John Keim after a report on NFL AM Wednesday morning.
Shanahan said he was worried about keeping Griffin healthy after being sacked 38 times this season (fifth in the league), including 24 times in the last five games. But the move is strictly preemptive, as Griffin is not listed on the Redskins' injury report.
"I've got to do what's best for the organization," Shanahan told ESPN on Tuesday. "If we feel the best thing for the organization is doing that for Robert, then hopefully Robert will understand why we're doing it. We're doing it because he's a franchise quarterback and we want him to be able to go into the offseason and get full preparation and be ready for next year rather than playing one of the next three games and all of a sudden he sets himself back with a possible injury, whatever that may be."
The Redskins (3-10), who have lost five straight games, have no chance at a playoff berth after winning the NFC East last season. But Shanahan's comments contradict his statements from recent weeks saying that he wanted Griffin to keep playing as much as possible in order to develop.
Even Cousins said RGIII shouldn't be benched.
Cousins, the second-year man out of Michigan State, is 12-for-25 passing (48 percent) for 107 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions this season. He'll likely be the starter for the rest of the year.
Griffin has 16 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions after throwing 20 TDs and five INTs last season. He also has no rushing touchdowns after scoring seven last year.
Team source confirms NFL AM report that Kirk Cousins will start for the #Redskins against Atlanta Sunday.
— John Keim (@john_keim) December 11, 2013