NFL Wire News

Redskins not sure, but QB McCoy plans to start


ASHBURN, Va. — Quarterback Colt McCoy took limited reps in practice on Wednesday because of a sprained neck and the Washington Redskins are not ready to name him the starter for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants.

There is a chance McCoy won’t start, and he split practice snaps with Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins. The Redskins declined to name a starter with McCoy’s status up in the air.

“He sprained his neck — it’s just a matter of getting his full range of motion back,” head coach Jay Gruden said. “We won’t announce anything until I see the week of practice and how it goes.”

McCoy was sacked by St. Louis defensive end Robert Quinn and took a blow to the head and neck on the play. He was sacked six times and knocked down five more in Sunday’s loss.

McCoy, the only one of the three quarterbacks who has won a game this season in which he played the whole way — the Week 8 upset of Dallas — expects to start.

“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. With the left side of Washington’s offensive line still in a three-point stance, the Rams’ leading pass-rusher had a free shot at the quarterback.

“It’s a bang-bang play,” said McCoy, who began the year as a third-stringer after being signed during the offseason and has been sacked 17 times in 138 dropbacks. “I don’t blame him. He’s doing what he’s taught to do: rush the passer.”

Griffin, the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year, hasn’t won a full start in more than 13 months. He was sidelined for five games after dislocating his left ankle in the first quarter of Week 2 before starting 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, a fourth-round pick in 2012, 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.

“When you’re up like the Giants were … where we turned into a one-dimensional football team, we’re not very good,” Gruden said. “We’ve got to figure out a way to keep the game within reach for four quarters so we have the whole playbook open to us.”

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