Third-string NFL QB dilemma: Unfamiliarity with starting receivers

With Robert Griffin II sidelined with injury, Washington Redskins backup quarterback Kirk Cousins...

With Robert Griffin II sidelined with injury, Washington Redskins backup quarterback Kirk Cousins took first-team reps during training camp this summer. (JOHN KRYK/QMI Agency)

JOHN KRYK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:23 PM ET

At training camp earlier this month, Kirk Cousins vividly pointed out the dilemma facing most NFL third-string quarterbacks.

Last October, the Washington Redskins backup was suddenly sent in to play against the Atlanta Falcons after starting quarterback Robert Griffin III had suffered an apparent concussion.

“It was the first time I stepped into a huddle in a regular-season game,” said Cousins, a rookie in 2012 who had practised with third-teamers in training camp.

“That’s when it really hit me -- that I had rarely, if ever, played before with those offensive linemen and wide receivers. Those guys always practised with Robert, for good reason.”

In other words, when Cousins took that first snap against the Falcons, he hadn’t thrown many more passes to Pierre Garcon or Santana Moss than you or me.

Crazy, huh?


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