Marino: Redskins' playoff hopes shot if RG3 doesn't return

UPDATE (4:35 p.m. ET): Robert Griffin III says he definitely plans to start against the Cleveland Browns according to his father Robert Griffin II. 


Down goes Griffin. Down goes Griffin. And possibly the Redskins’ playoff chances.

Playoff hopes for a faithful Washington Redskins nation flashed before its eyes when Robert Griffin III's knee turned to rubber as 340-pound Ravens lineman Haloti Ngata delivered a crushing blow to the mobile quarterback.

The Redskins say Griffin is “clear” but has a knee sprain.

Prior to Griffin’s injury the Skins were still alive in the playoff picture with a seventh seed in the NFC and a 7-6 record. However, that could all change.

Although coach Mike Shanahan still hasn’t ruled out RG3 for this Sunday, it’s likely backup quarterback Kirk Cousins will have to step up and lead the team against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. It will be the first professional start for the rookie out of Michigan State.

“Washington, I thought was going to make the playoffs if RG3 was going to be healthy,” Dan Marino said on NFL Monday QB. “There’s going to be a lot of pressure on this young kid as a quarterback, first time starting an NFL game. I doubt that Washington is going to make the playoffs now.”

Because Griffin may be out, the Browns are a seven-point favorite to win (as of early Tuesday afternoon).

However, Cousins isn’t as bad as the odds say. He did show up for the Skins with a game-tying touchdown drive after RG3 went down on Sunday. The question about whether he can do it all on his own still remains. He showed glimmers of poise at Michigan State and the numerous throws he had in the preseason.

“How many throws did he get in the preseason?” Phil Simms said. “Probably more than anybody in football.”

This Cousins experiment could go better than most think, as his traditional play may prove to be more familiar to the coaching staff than RG3's.

“I guarantee you, though, [Mike Shanahan] has a lot of confidence in this kid,” Steve Beuerlein said. ”I remember talking to Mike Shanahan this offseason a few times, [and] he told me during mini camps and going into training camp he doesn’t know which one of these quarterbacks he was more excited about. He likes both of them.”

This Sunday we will see who Shanahan prefers at this moment.

Check in with the Eye On Football crew to keep up with the QB situation in the nation’s capital.

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