- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 9, 2012

NEW ORLEANS — Obviously the Washington Redskins hope it won’t come to that Sunday, but if quarterback Robert Griffin III suffers any kind of injury, another rookie will have to take his place.

Kirk Cousins is Griffin’s backup for the season opener at the New Orleans Saints after the Redskins made veteran Rex Grossman inactive.

During training camp, Grossman was considered the favorite to back-up Griffin, at least early in the season, because of his familiarity with Mike and Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

“I know my role and I’m going to play it. Whatever my role is, I’m going to do it best in the NFL, whatever that is,” Grossman said last month. “If I have to come in and play, I want to be the best quarterback that week. If I have to be there and mentor, I’m going to be the best mentor in the league. I know my role, I’m going to try to do it the best of my ability.”

instead of having that chance, it’ll be Cousins’ job Sunday to hold the clipboard and be ready at a moment’s notice to make his NFL debut on the day Griffin does.

Cousins showed off in the preseason, putting up big numbers when given the opportunity. He was 42-for-73 for 560 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

The other Redskins inactives were Chris Baker, bothered by an ankle injury; Brandon Meriweather, who is expected to be out two-to-four weeks with a knee injury; receiver Dezmon Briscoe, guards Josh LeRibeus and Adam Gettis and cornerback Crezdon Butler.

Morris starts at running back

It’s not enough that the Redskins are starting a rookie quarterback who is being backed up by a rookie. Alfred Morris, a sixth-round pick out of Florida Atlantic, gets the nod to start at running back.

It remains to be seen who shoulders the load in the backfield among Morris, Roy Helu Jr. and Evan Royster. Morris appeared to earn this start with a strong preseason; he ran for 195 yards as Helu, Royster and released running back Tim Hightower dealt with injuries.

Vilma taking part

Linebacker Jonathan Vilma had his season-long suspension for his involvement in the Saints‘ bounty scandal overturned Friday by a three-member appeals panel, but he won’t play because of a knee injury. Defensive end Will Smith is active and eligible to play.

But Vilma, according to multiple reports, will lead the Saints out for the opening coin toss.

“I’m sure they’re going to be coming out on fire with everything that went on this offseason,” Redskins defensive end Adam Carriker said earlier in the week. “A lot of people are saying without the coaches and without some players they won’t be able to do it, so they’ll be trying to prove people wrong.”