ASHBURN, Va. — Redskins coach Mike Shanahan will sit quarterback Robert Griffin III for the rest of the season Wednesday. Kirk Cousins will start with former Gator Rex Grossman backing him up and Griffin the inactive No. 3.
Shanahan said he wants to keep Griffin healthy for the offseason, noting the 24 sacks and other hits he has taken over the past five games. He said he talked to owner Dan Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen and both supported him.
"You've got to take a look at the risk and reward," Shanahan said. "I thought that his hits were piling up on him, giving him his toll. And I was afraid that we would set him back."
Shanahan cited the need for Griffin to have a full offseason of development after missing this year's workouts while rehabbing from reconstructive knee surgery. But there's no certainty Shanahan will be around to coach in the offseason. The Redskins have lost five straight and are 3-10, their third losing season in Shanahan's four seasons.
"I think any time you have a year left on your contract and you have three wins, that's going to be out there," Shanahan said
Griffin said he is unhappy with sitting.
"I expressed my desire to play," Griffin said. "Of course I want to be out there and finish the season with my guys. (Shanahan) explained to me his reasoning, and at the end of the day, Coach's decision is what we go with."
Cousins, a second-year player who has started one game, said he expects Griffin to get his starting job back in 2014 and beyond.
"This is Robert's team going forward into next season," he said. "The reason they're resting Robert is because … he is the franchise quarterback. They wouldn't rest him if that wasn't the case. So my job is to help this team get a win against Atlanta and then the last two weeks. I'm going to try to excel in my role as a backup quarterback."
Dolphins saga: Left tackle Jonathan Martin, the alleged victim in the bullying scandal, will be traded in the offseason, the Miami Herald reported. The Dolphins previously said he would not return this season.
Pouncey testimony: Dolphins center Mike Pouncey missed practice, the team saying only it was "non-injury" and the Herald reporting he was in Massachusetts to testify before a grand jury about Aaron Hernandez. Hernandez, Pouncey's teammate at Florida and a former Patriots tight end, has been charged in the death of associate Odin Lloyd in Massachusetts. But in October, multiple media outlets reported prosecutors are broadening their investigation to include potential interstate gun trafficking.
Bears: Coach Marc Trestman said he is optimistic quarterback Jay Cutler will return Sunday. He has missed four games with a high left ankle sprain.
Broncos: Receiver Wes Welker won't play tonight because of a concussion sustained Sunday. It's his second this season.
Cowboys: Linebacker Sean Lee was limited at practice with a neck injury sustained Monday. An MRI exam showed no structural damage, but his status for Sunday is uncertain.
Jets: Corner Antonio Cromartie (concussion) and receiver Stephen Hill (knee) didn't practice and might sit out Sunday.
Packers: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has missed six games with a broken collarbone, took first-team snaps during practice. But the team did not say when he will return.
Rams: Receiver Tavon Austin (left ankle) and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (back) sat out practice. Their status for Sunday hasn't been determined.
Vikings: Running back Adrian Peterson shed the walking boot on his sprained right foot but did not practice. Coach Leslie Frazier said he probably won't do so until Friday and his status for Sunday will be determined then. Peterson's backup, Toby Gerhart, did not practice because of a hamstring injury. But Frazier said he is optimistic he will play Sunday.