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RG3 cleared, but Gruden mum on Redskins backup QB

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Robert Griffin III was listed as probable on the Washington Redskins’ injury report Friday, but coach Jay Gruden declined to say whether he will serve as starter Kirk Cousins’ primary backup in Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Miami Dolphins.

RG3 has been recovering from a concussion suffered during the preseason and was cleared medically to participate in contact drills, but Colt McCoy received the bulk of the playing time during the exhibition season.

“I’m probably the only coach in the league that gets questions on their 46-man roster on a Thursday,” Gruden said when asked if RG3 will be Cousins’ backup. “We have until Sunday afternoon to turn in our 46-man roster and we’re going to do that with everybody.”

Gruden said RG3 has been taking part in individual drills and some team activity on the field and there is nothing physically that would prevent him from playing Sunday.

“There is really nothing he hasn’t been doing. He has been to all of the meetings. He has not missed anything because of this, just he’s had to wait on the written clearance. That’s all.”

Cousins will open the season as the starter, and has said the drama surrounding RG3 has not been a distraction. And Gruden said he has noticed a change in Cousins’ demeanor since being named the starter.

“I think when you’re a backup quarterback, that is your role,” Gruden said. “Your role is not to be so much an outwardly leadership type guy. You mainly are a backup guy. You take your reps when you can get them.

“He was a great backup quarterback. He was very supportive of Robert when he played. He was very supportive of Colt when he played. But now it’s his turn, now he can be more vocal. He can ask more questions and be more involved in the game plan, all that stuff. I think he’s starting to take that next step. Hopefully it translates.”

The biggest question facing Cousins is whether he can limit the turnovers that have plagued him in the past – including the 11 in five games that led to his benching last season.

“I think the biggest thing is as a quarterback you always want to start with being a great decision maker, treating each play as its own entity and not feeling like if you’re playing from behind you have to get it all back at once,” Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay said. “Take what the defense gives you. We’d like to give these guys plays that have answers versus whatever defensive looks the defensive coordinator presents. Just take it one play at a time and be a good decision maker and I think that will eliminate some of those turnovers that we’ve seen in the past.”

Offensive tackle Tom Condon is questionable with a calf injury first suffered in the final preseason game and then aggravated during practice this week, and linebacker Jackson Jeffcoat (thigh) is also questionable. Defensive end Frank Kearse (shoulder) and center Kory Lichtensteiger (finger) are both probable.


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