- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 16, 2012

CLEVELAND — Robert Griffin III wanted to play.

Instead, the Washington Redskins rookie quarterback was inactive and watched from the sideline as his team hammered the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

“I feel like I could play this week,” said Griffin, who twice mentioned his unhappiness with not playing in a four-minute postgame news conference.

The decision to hold out Griffin as he recovers from the mild sprain to his lateral collateral ligament in his right knee suffered last week didn’t make the quarterback happy. Coach Mike Shanahan said team doctors didn’t believe Griffin’s knee was healthy enough for game action.

“He did not want to let his teammates down,” Shanahan said. “At the end of the day, the doctor did not feel that he was ready. … The doctors are very impressed at how he’s coming along, but I can’t tell you anything [more] until the doctors clear him.”

Two-and-a-half hours before kickoff Sunday, Griffin went through a series of warm-ups at Cleveland Browns Stadium after being limited in practice all week. He looked healthy, other than a slight limp as he walked off the field with a large brace protecting his right knee. But the decision had been announced the night before to start fellow rookie Kirk Cousins.

Griffin’s status remains day to day.

“He wanted to go out there so bad,” cornerback DeAngelo Hall said of Griffin. “It was good for him to pass the car keys to someone else.”

Griffin’s absence left third-stringer Rex Grossman active for the first time this season after starting 13 games in 2011.

Polumbus, Alexander injured

Right tackle Tyler Polumbus’ afternoon went from bad to worse. In the first half, Jabraal Sheard blew past him and sacked quarterback Kirk Cousins. Then Polumbus didn’t return in the second half after suffering a concussion. Veteran Jordan Black replaced him.

Per the NFL’s concussion protocol, players diagnosed with concussions aren’t permitted to speak to the media.

Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander received a scare of his own after crashing into Josh Gordon while making a tackle late in the second quarter. At first, Alexander thought he separated his right shoulder. Instead, the injury turned out to be a stinger.

Center Will Montgomery departed in the game’s final minutes with a left knee injury. Guard Kory Lichtensteiger switched from guard to center to replace him. After the game, Montgomery walked without a limp.

Forbath can’t miss

Kai Forbath remains perfect. The rookie kicker drilled a 44-yard field goal in the second quarter to extend his made field goal streak to 14-for-14. He hasn’t missed since the Redskins signed him as a free agent in October.

The Redskins haven’t missed a field goal since Oct. 7, when Billy Cundiff was 1-for-2 in the loss to the Atlanta Falcons. That game cost Cundiff his job.

More records for Morris

Despite a slow start, rookie running back Alfred Morris finished with 87 yards on the ground. That pushed him into seventh-place on the Redskins‘ single-season rushing list.

With two games remaining, Morris has 1,319 yards rushing, just 197 yards behind Clinton Portis’ 2005 team record.

Morris’ 27 carries were his second most this season, topped only by his 28 carries in the season opener at the New Orleans Saints.

Rich Campbell contributed to this report.

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