- Dan Graziano, ESPN New York Giants reporter
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If I had to bet money on who will start at quarterback for the Washington Redskins on Sunday, I'd bet it on Kirk Cousins. However, my strong preference would be not to bet the money at all, since I am of the belief that no one yet knows the answer. I still think it's possible that Robert Griffin III could start in spite of the knee injury that knocked him out of Sunday's game against the Ravens, and since this is Tuesday and the game isn't until Sunday I can't see any reason why the Redskins would have made the decision by this point when they don't have to. And even if they do know, I'm certain they'd like to keep the Browns guessing as long as possible.
Why do I bring this up? Because yes, I saw the "SportsCenter" interview Tuesday morning with Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon, and I am aware of the flare-up going on in Washington about whether Garcon revealed inside information when he said "we have a little bit tougher task with Kirk starting." Hoping you don't mind, I'd like to address this in a reasonable way:
First, if you buy into the idea that Garcon gave away an inside secret, you have to believe that (a) Mike Shanahan has already decided not to play Griffin this week and (b) he informed Garcon of that decision sometime between Sunday night and Tuesday morning. I don't think either is the case, and I don't know for sure that (b) is even possible, since Garcon obviously spent the bulk of his Monday traveling from Ashburn, Va. to Bristol, Conn.
Second, if Shanahan has formally informed the team that Cousins will start Sunday's game, surely he impressed upon them the importance of discretion when discussing the issue outside of the team's facility. So while it's possible that Garcon could have let inside information "slip" on "SportsCenter," it's far more likely that he was just talking off the top of his head about the most likely scenario. If he'd been told Cousins was starting, he'd surely have been more conscious of his coach's desire to keep that information secret. It's a lot more plausible that he was just expressing his own belief about who's likely to start than that he was accidentally giving away the team's plans.
So my message is this: Stay calm. Don't rush to find a hidden meaning in every word everybody says about Griffin and his knee. It's going to ruin your week if you do. You already know Griffin has dodged a major problem and isn't out for the year, and that should offer some comfort. I understand Redskins' fans concern about this Sunday's game, since it's important that they win it and they're obviously much more likely to do so with Griffin playing. You're just not doing yourself any favors getting all worked up over this Garcon thing.
It's possible -- even likely -- that Cousins starts the game Sunday. But the idea that Garcon knows that already and unwittingly told a national TV audience this morning is farfetched. On behalf of ESPN, I thank you for watching our morning programming. But Adam Schefter's the guy who breaks news on that show, not Pierre Garcon.
If I had to bet money on who will start at quarterback for the Washington Redskins on Sunday, I'd bet it on Kirk Cousins. However, my strong preference would be not to bet the money at all, since I am of the belief that no one yet knows the answer.