Redskins' McCoy has more tests on injured neck
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) Robert Griffin III could be starting again even if Colt McCoy is healthy.
It would be the fifth quarterback change for first-year coach Jay Gruden, who is looking worn down under the burden of the ever-present turmoil that surrounds the Washington Redskins.
Gruden said Monday he will await the outcome of tests on McCoy's sprained neck before deciding on a starter for the upcoming game against the New York Giants. The coach said Griffin would be the choice ''right now'' if McCoy can't play, then left open the possibility of going with Griffin regardless of the medical report - and even said he could envision Kirk Cousins playing again this year.
''I don't want to really rush into any decision,'' Gruden said.
McCoy was hurt during Sunday's 24-0 loss to the St. Louis Rams, a result that dropped the Redskins to 3-10 and took a further toll on coach and players. There is now broad speculation about the futures of Gruden, Griffin and general manager Bruce Allen beyond this season, and many in the organization were especially stunned over the weekend when longtime Washington linebacker London Fletcher made searing comments about defensive coordinator Jim Haslett.
Watching from afar in recent years as an offensive coordinator with the Cincinnati Bengals, Gruden knew the Redskins were often a source of news about off-field disarray, but it's totally different to live through it.
''It's a little bit more than I expected, yes,'' Gruden said. ''But I understand that there are stories to be had. ... We try to stay positive and upbeat, and I try not to let the stories get to me or this team, and we try to nip them in the bud and address them in our meetings and move forward and try to stay together as a locker room, but that's just the way it is, man, I've learned here.''
Griffin appeared done for the season - and possibly for good in Washington - when he was benched two weeks ago by Gruden, but the results haven't improved with McCoy. McCoy threw for just 199 yards with two interceptions Sunday before he was hurt in the fourth quarter, yielding to Griffin during the team's final drive.
McCoy appeared stiff as he met with reporters and said he was still in pain. He said doctors are still trying to figure the nature of his injury after tests at a hospital Sunday night and more on Monday. He said he was actually hurt when he was sacked for the fifth time with about seven minutes left and played through the discomfort until the two-minute warning.
''I knew something wasn't right,'' McCoy said.
Griffin didn't speak with reporters in the locker room Monday, although he performed an impressive athletic feat - a between-the-legs, 360-degree dunk with a mini-basketball into a mini-hoop that players have installed to help pass the downtime on practice days.
''I'm going to walk away on that one,'' he said with a smile.
Gruden said Griffin will get some work with the starters at practice on Wednesday and Thursday. The coach was asked why he might expect Griffin to play better now after struggling earlier in the season.
''Hopefully he's taken a step back and taken everything in and has continued to learn the position and learn about the concepts we're trying run,'' Gruden said. ''And hopefully he'll have a little bit more of a confident air about him when he jumps in and there's less indecision.''
Gruden also addressed the overall demeanor of a team that's lost five straight and is on pace for a sixth last-place finish in seven years.
''Right now, in my opinion, we're lacking in fundamental confidence,'' Gruden said. ''We've just got to get some pep in our step and play, have some fun.''
Notes: Gruden said RB Roy Helu will be ''probably out a least a week'' with a sprained toe. ... Gruden said he was disappointed in a play in which DL Chris Baker started celebrating a sack too soon. The ball was fumbled and won the ground by Baker's feet while he had his hands raised in jubilation. ''We addressed that today. Obviously he didn't see the ball out; that's no excuse,'' Gruden said. ''We should act like we've been there before.''
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