Mike Shanahan: Robert Griffin III 'clearly' Washington's starting quarterback

Kevin C. Cox

Despite being benched for either poor play or to preserve his health, there is no doubt Robert Griffin III is still Washington's quarterback.

Although he won't play for the rest of the season, there is no doubt Robert Griffin III is still the starting quarterback in Washington, at least according to Mike Shanahan.

"Robert is clearly our starting quarterback," Shanahan said on Monday, via the Washington Post. "But I'm gonna still emphasize this: The better players you have, the more competition you have, you get better as a football team. I've always felt that way."

It's been an eventful few weeks in Washington. Shanahan made the decision to shut Griffin down for the rest of the season following Washington's loss in Week 14. He cited the number of hits Griffin has taken this season and the desire to have him healthy for the offseason. However, there were conflicting reports on the reasoning, with others saying the move was made due to poor play.

Regardless of the reasoning, the decision caused many to question the futures of Griffin and Shanahan with the Redskins. With replacement Kirk Cousins throwing for 381 yards on Sunday, there was also some question as to whether he could unseat Griffin. Shanahan quickly shot down the idea of a quarterback controversy.

"Let's not get carried away with one game, okay?" Shanahan said. "It's one game. That's all it is. Let's take a look at game after game after game. We saw what Robert did last year ... He put up some pretty good numbers this year, maybe not in comparison to [his rookie] year. But let's not get carried away after one game."

Shanahan's statement may calm some of the controversy temporarily, but it's doubtful this is the end of the story. There is a chance Shanahan won't even be the one to make the quarterback decision next season with his status with the team going forward still in question.

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