Gruden will name starting QB after week of practice
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden Wednesday didn't name who his starting quarterback will be, in part to try and keep the firestorm over his choice from erupting as was the case earlier this season.
''I'm not going to announce (the starter) until I see the week of practice, see how it goes,'' Gruden said after Wednesday's practice in which Colt McCoy, Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins all took snaps.
McCoy sprained his neck when sacked by St. Louis defensive end Robert Quinn in the fourth quarter of last Sunday's 24-0 loss to the Rams, his second start since replacing the struggling Griffin.
''It's just a matter of getting his full range of motion back, but he did good today,'' Gruden said of McCoy, the only one of the three quarterbacks who has won a game in which he played the whole way. ''We'll get (another) look at him tomorrow, see how he progresses.''
McCoy was limited in practice but expects to start again on Sunday when the reeling Redskins (3-10) visit the New York Giants (4-9).
''I'm doing a lot better, making good progress,'' said McCoy, who had no previous neck issues and said that doctors told him he can't aggravate the injury by playing on Sunday. ''I'm just dealing with a little aggravated disc, a little aggravated nerve in my neck. Hopefully if that calms down, we'll be fine. I don't need any more tests. As long as I'm breathing, as long as I can pick up a football, I'm going to go out there and help my team win. There's no other way to look at it. I thought I threw the ball well today.''
Neither Gruden nor McCoy blamed Quinn for the hit which came after center Kory Lichtensteiger snapped the ball too early and the Rams' leading pass-rusher had a free shot at the quarterback.
''It's a bang-bang play,'' said McCoy, who has been sacked 17 times in 138 drop-backs. ''I don't blame him. He's doing what he's taught to do: rush the passer. I wish the ref could have blown (the play) dead.''
Griffin, the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year, hasn't won a full start in 13 months.
He missed five games after dislocating his left ankle in the first quarter of Week 2 before playing in losses to Minnesota, Tampa Bay and San Francisco in Weeks 10-12.
''Your confidence can't be shaken by anything that happens in your career,'' said Griffin, who completed three of four passes for 33 yards and was sacked on the other after replacing McCoy for the final two minutes against the Rams in his first career relief stint. ''My confidence is still sky-high.''
Gruden said that Griffin had some good plays during practice, but also ''had some plays that I know he wish he could have back. We're looking for a decisive player at the position (who) will pull the trigger and get the ball out of his hands. . We're just going to get these guys reps and it's up to them to take advantage of the reps they get so the decision will be made easy for us tomorrow or Friday.''
Cousins started Washington's 45-14 home loss to New York in Week 4 but hasn't played since McCoy relieved him at halftime three weeks later after he had committed 11 turnovers in not quite five games.
NOTES: Receiver Andre Roberts and rookie cornerback Bashaud Breeland squared off after dueling on a pass route during practice. Gruden attributed what he said was a rare scuffle to frustration from Washington's ongoing five-game losing streak. . The Redskins filled their open roster spot with former Buffalo cornerback Justin Rogers. . Safety Brandon Meriweather (toe) and inside linebacker Keenan Robinson (knee), who both missed the Rams' game, didn't practice. Neither did nose tackle Barry Cofield (illness), defensive end Jason Hatcher (knee) and running back Roy Helu (toe), who was hurt against St. Louis. Defensive end Kedric Golston (back, foot) and receiver DeSean Jackson (legs), who both missed the Rams' game, were limited along with McCoy and offensive tackle Morgan Moses (ankle, foot).
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