Griffin, the team's 2012 first-round pick and franchise quarterback has officially been benched for Cousins. Not only that, Shanahan said that Griffin will be inactive for the final three games of the regular season and Rex Grossman will serve as Cousins' backup.
Meanwhile, Griffin appears to be caught in the middle of a power struggle between Shanahan and owner Dan Snyder. While the coach has stated publicly that he has RG3's health in mind, the speculation is that Shanahan wants out of Washington and this is how he's decided to go about it.
"With Robert, I though that his hits were piling up on him," Shanahan told reporters Wednesday. "The best thing to do is to go into that third year injury free."
Okay, fine. But why the sudden concern bout Griffin's health? Where was this back in Week 1, when Shanahan let an obviously less-than-100 percent RG3 play against the Eagles?
"You can always go back," Shanahan explained when asked about just that. "You can always question yourself. ... The doctors said he was 100 percent."
(Just curious but what do the doctors say now?)
As for why Shanahan didn't bench Griffin in last January's playoff game against the Seahawks after he reaggravated a knee injury and spent the second half limping around the field, the coach says he ignored his gut that he should have, in fact, taken RG3 out. (No word on if he made this decision before or after he planned to resign -- a report Shanahan tiptoed around Wednesday.)
Shanahan also said that he spoke with Snyder about benching the franchise quarterback although "in theory" he didn't need the owner's approval. "Dan could care less about the other positions," the coach said, calling the benching an organization decision.
"If either [Snyder or GM Bruce Allen] wasn't 100 percent behind the reasoning I'm giving you," Shanahan continued, "we won't go there."
Meanwhile, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora brings up a good point:
If Shanahan has Snyder's blessing for benching, as he says, one might think Skins would have a brief statement from the owner prepared, no?— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 11, 2013
Shanahan conceded that Griffin "won't understand [the decision]" but "at the end of the day you've got to feel like your football team did the right thing."
As for whether Shanahan will be back in 2014 (he has one more year left on his contract), he "can't say," but acknowledged that ultimatley it's "Dan's decision at the end of this year ... My job is to do the right thing."