ASHBURN, Va. — Donovan McNabb to second string. Then to third string. Then no guarantee that he'll be back next season.
The ever-dramatic Redskins upset the apple cart once again Friday when coach Mike Shanahan announced Rex Grossman as his starter for the rest of the season, beginning with Sunday's game at Dallas.
McNabb, 34, will be the No. 2 quarterback against the Cowboys, then drop to No. 3 behind Grossman, a former star at Florida, and John Beck for the final two games of the season.
And after that?
"I also told him," Shanahan said, "that I cannot guarantee him that he will be back next year."
That's how far McNabb, a six-time Pro Bowl quarterback, has fallen. The player acquired with such fanfare in an April trade is benched in a season in which he has been woefully inconsistent, throwing a career-high 15 interceptions and ranking 25th in the NFL with a 77.1 QB rating.
Asked if getting McNabb was a mistake, Shanahan said: "You really don't know if you made a mistake, but if you do make one, you make it, and you go on."
McNabb did not comment after practice. He later issued a statement: "I respect Mike's decision as a head coach, but I strongly disagree with it." McNabb's wife abruptly canceled a scheduled interview with the Associated Press in which she planned to promote a charity event involving NFL wives.
Saints' Brees top male athlete of 2010
Saints quarterback Drew Brees was chosen as the Associated Press male athlete of the year.
The Super Bowl MVP got 48 of 176 votes submitted by news organizations for the award, which dates to 1931.
Brees led the Saints to their first Super Bowl title in February. That came amid the backdrop of his millions of dollars in charitable work to help New Orleans recover from Hurricane Katrina.
NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson, the 2009 winner, was second with 31 votes. Boxer Manny Pacquiao was third with 21.
GIANTS: Two-time Pro Bowl center Shaun O'Hara (sprained right foot) likely will play Sunday after missing six games.
JAGUARS: After listing starting quarterback David Garrard (hamstring) as questionable, the team re-signed Todd Bouman. Garrard was limited in practice.
JETS: The league sent representatives to practice as part of its investigation into Sunday's incident involving strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi, who tripped Miami player Nolan Carroll while on the sideline.
LIONS: Drew Stanton is expected to start at quarterback Sunday against the Bucs. Matthew Stafford (separated shoulder) and backup Shaun Hill (broken right index finger) are injured. Hill practiced a little this week.
PACKERS: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was listed as doubtful for Sunday's game at New England, though coach Mike McCarthy wasn't ruling him out.
STEELERS: All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu (strained right Achilles', sore calf) missed practice for a third consecutive day and is likely to miss Sunday's game against the Jets. … Linebacker James Harrison will use money given to him by fans to help pay his fines to throw a Christmas party for needy children and their families. As Harrison accumulated $125,000 in fines for four infractions, fans began sending him money to help pay them. Much of it was sent anonymously, so he could not return it.
TITANS: Quarterback Vince Young, out for the season after thumb surgery, made his first known appearance in the locker room since being asked to leave after a meeting last month.
VIKINGS: Receiver and former UF star Percy Harvin said he'll "definitely" play Monday against Chicago after missing two games because his migraine headaches returned.
FINES: The league docked Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora $12,500 for hitting Minnesota quarterback Tarvaris Jackson in the head and neck Monday. Vikings cornerback Asher Allen was fined $5,000 for unnecessary roughness for a late hit on Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw. Also fined: Denver defensive end Kevin Vickerson ($7,500, horse-collar tackle) and defensive back Syd'Quan Thompson ($5,000, unnecessary roughness), and St. Louis safety Oshiomogho Atogwe ($5,000, illegal tackle).