Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has been benched for the remainder of the season. The move was made by head coach Mike Shanahan, and the reason he cited was simple: Griffin is taking too much of a beating in these final weeks. The Redskins are out of the playoff race, so the move makes sense at face value, though it's not something we see often in the NFL. Kirk Cousins will be the starter going forward, with Rex Grossman acting as his backup. You can see the press conference here.
The folks over at Hogs Haven believe the move is an indictment of the team's poor offensive line play:
Still, I can't say it more clearly than I did in the title. Mike Shanahan and the Washington Redskins organization looked at the offensive line that they were forcing Griffin to play behind and decided that the probability of a catastrophic injury was TOO GREAT to keep him on the field. Based on the highlight reel of hits that opposing defenses have produced, the fact of the matter is that this move serves the organization extremely well.
Here's some other NFL news from Wednesday:
The NFL is projecting a salary cap of $126.3 million for the 2014 league year. That total would be about a 2.6 percent increase from this seasons $123 million cap number. The additional $3.3 million would be on top of any carry over from this season. The cap jumped by nearly $3 million between last season and this one.
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will likely make his return from injury to start against the Cleveland Browns in Week 15. Cutler is expected to practice in full all week for the first time since sustaining a sprained ankle that caused him to miss four games. Josh McCown has played well in Cutler's absence, and the Bears are still competing with the Detroit Lions for the NFC North.
Atlanta Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel was replaced in the starting lineup by rookie Robert Alford in Week 14 and didn't play a single snap. Samuel doesn't know what his future with the Falcons will look like, but seeing him elsewhere in 2014 certainly wouldn't be surprising at this point. The Falcons have to see what they have in the younger players, especially as they have only won three games this season.
Oakland Raiders running back Rashad Jennings returned to practice on Wednesday, meaning he's on track with the league's concussion protocol. Jennings sustained a concussion in Week 13, and missed the team's Week 14 matchup against the New York Jets. Jennings has out-played Darren McFadden when both running backs are healthy and should be starting in Week 15.
The St. Louis Rams placed offensive lineman Scott Wells on injured reserve Wednesday. Wells was the team's starting center, but suffered a fractured fibula and it will be a significant amount of time before he's able to play again. Wells has been the starting center since 2012. St. Louis is not in the playoff race at this point in the season.