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Sunday, December 8, 2013
Shanahan undecided on starting QB

By John Keim

LANDOVER, Md. -- Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan pulled Robert Griffin III from Sunday's game at the start of the fourth quarter. That was understandable. What Shanahan wouldn't say is whether Griffin will return to the starting lineup for Sunday's game at Atlanta.

It's not as if either quarterback played a good game. Griffin completed 12 of 26 passes for 164 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Backup Kirk Cousins completed 7 of 16 passes for 59 yards.

"We'll talk about that later," Shanahan said. "That's with anybody in any position. We'll look at injuries, we'll look at where we are and what direction we're going."

Griffin said he had no doubts he'd start next week.

"That's not an issue," he said.

Griffin said he understood why he was removed from the game. The Redskins trailed 45-10 when Cousins entered with 13 minutes, 31 seconds remaining in the game.

"There was no way we could win it, so he was going to pull me out," Griffin said. "At that point I just didn't want to risk injury in the latter part of that game."

Of course, every decision that involves Shanahan and Griffin is viewed through the prism of their relationship. And what it could mean for the future. Before Sunday it appeared there was a chance Shanahan could return. That notion died Sunday.

Would owner Dan Snyder then allow a coach who doesn't figure in the future to bench a quarterback who does? It's hard to imagine.