Mike Shanahan could sit RGIII for remainder of 2013

Patrick McDermott

The Redskins coach said he is considering benching the franchise quarterback in the interest of keeping him healthy heading into the offseason.

Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said Monday he is considering sitting Robert Griffin III for the remainder of 2013. Speaking at his weekly press conference, Shanahan stated the recent pounding the star quarterback has taken has led him to consider resting him over the final three games in order to keep him healthy.

"He's never had an offseason. He's coming off an ACL/MCL surgery. We have three games left and [have allowed] 24 sacks in five games. That's a lot of wear and tear on the body."

Shanahan notoriously brought Griffin back from a knee injury during last year's playoffs, a controversial move that ended in Griffin tearing his ACL and being limited in training camp and the preseason. Instead of using his first offseason to prepare and improve, it was spent largely rehabbing the injury.

Shanahan, who replaced RGIII with backup Kirk Cousins in the second half of the Redskins' ugly 45-10 loss on Sunday, was careful to stress the move would only be about keeping the quarterback healthy and not about his declining play.

"It would just be about the pounding that he's taken ... Do you take the risk of having a guy possibly miss an offseason or do you play him and all of a sudden lose for the offseason?"

With a promising season imploding in a 3-10 record, negative media attention has ramped up significantly in Washington, where Shanahan has had to repeatedly fight off rumors concerning a strained relationship with Griffin.

"I'm his head football coach, not necessarily his best friend," Shanahan said on Monday. "I don't need to be his best friend, I want to make him the best quarterback possible."

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