Washington Redskins to start Kirk Cousins in Week 1

The Washington Redskins are moving forward with Kirk Cousins.

Coach Jay Gruden told players in a team meeting Monday morning that Cousins will start Week 1 of the regular season against the Miami Dolphins, team sources confirmed to NFL Media's Albert Breer. Robert Griffin III's status, meanwhile, remains up in the air.

The decision caps a week of drama in the nation's capital, where Griffin remains mired in the NFL's concussion protocol after an independent neurologist reversed course on RGIII's playing status for Saturday's preseason tilt against the Ravens. That left Cousins to open Washington's third preseason game, where he made his case as the best option to be the team's starter.

Meanwhile, sources close to Griffin told NFL Media's Jeff Darlington that the quarterback's clearance from the concussion he suffered earlier this month is still entirely up to league protocol -- and he won't see a doctor until Friday at the earliest.

Gruden told Darlington that no quarterback controversy exists inside team walls, but Cousins has often looked like the better fit for Gruden's offense, showing more natural pocket-passing skills than Griffin while averaging nearly 100 more passing yards per game than RGIII last season.

Cousins must eliminate his penchant for turnovers, while keeping his head together when those mistakes occur behind a suspect line. His career interception percentage of 4.7 is outrageous, but Cousins also tossed more touchdown passes last season over six games (10) than Griffin and Colt McCoy combined to throw in 14 games (eight).

There's no telling when Griffin will return to the lineup. While the team exercised his $16.155 million option for 2016, that money is guaranteed only for injury. If Washington doesn't see RGIII as the long-term solution, the Redskins might choose to keep him off the field or even seek a trade.

If Cousins performs well, it's fair to wonder if Griffin has played his last snap for an organization that once made him the No. 2 overall pick. How quickly fortunes flip in the NFL.

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