The Washington Times - December 11, 2012, 11:08AM

Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon in a live on-set interview on ESPN’s SportsCenter Tuesday morning spoke as though backup rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins will start in place of injured Robert Griffin III on Sunday against Cleveland.

Garcon eventually backed off that statement when encouraged to do so by ESPN anchor Bram Weinstein. Weinstein, a former Redskins beat reporter for ESPN980, tweeted after Sunday’s win over Baltimore: “Congrats @Redskins go win the division!

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Coach Mike Shanahan on Monday afternoon said Griffin “is definitely not ruled out for the Cleveland game.” Griffin’s status is expected to crystallize by Thursday, according to a source who has spoken to Griffin at length about his sprained right knee

Weinstein interviewed Garcon on SportsCenter live Tuesday morning.

“Now we have a little bit tougher task; we have Kirk starting,” Garcon said. “We have to play well around Kirk so Kirk doesn’t feel like he has to try to save the team. We have to help him to be as comfortable as possible.”

Weinstein failed to follow up on Garcon’s statement with more questions about that revelation or at least an attempt to have Garcon verify his statement.

Instead, Weinstein responded: “I hope we didn’t give away too much there. We think Kirk is starting this week. We’ll see if Robert can – ”

Garcon interrupted him and said: “We have to prepare for the worst.”

Griffin suffered a mild sprain of the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee during the final minutes of Sunday’s win.

The Redskins on Wednesday return to practice to begin preparing for Sunday’s game at Cleveland.

Here’s the video of the Garcon interview: