- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 9, 2015

ASHBURN — Kirk Cousins remained adamant that the presence of Robert Griffin III, whom he replaced as the Washington Redskins‘ starting quarterback, will not be a distraction to the team.

Cousins, anointed the starter by coach Jay Gruden on Aug. 31, has repeatedly said that Griffin has been “classy” with regards to the switch. He used the same word on Wednesday, downplaying Griffin’s status as a backup and insisting that having Griffin around would not affect the locker room in any way.

“I don’t feel a distraction in the building,” Cousins said. “The distraction is if I turn on the TV, answer my phone, get on Twitter. The distraction is — as long as I’m in the building, working hard, ignoring the noise, even if there is something on the outside, I don’t feel it. We’re going to play in Washington, D.C. for the Washington Redskins in the NFL. There’s always going to be something going on that’s going to be there, and it’s so important to just move forward and not look right or left.”

Griffin still has not been cleared to return from a concussion he sustained in a preseason game against the Detroit Lions on Aug. 20. That leaves Colt McCoy as Cousins‘ backup; it’s unknown whether Griffin will pass his neurological testing by the time the Redskins open the season on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

“Right now, we’re still waiting on the results,” Gruden said. “Until we get the results back, we can make a determination then.”

Speculation existed as to whether the Redskins would cut Griffin, who entered training camp as the starter, when the initial 53-man roster needed to be finalized this past weekend. Gruden said on Sunday that the intent all along was to keep all three quarterbacks, as the Redskins did last season.

Cousins stepped in for Griffin beginning in Week 2, when Griffin dislocated his left ankle, and remained the starter until Week 7, when he was pulled for McCoy because of his performance.

“I do think I’ve grown a lot as a player,” said Cousins, who has played in 14 games over three seasons. “I have a little bit of an, ‘OK, I’ve been here before, I’ve played in some games and I’ve had some experiences now,’ and getting those experiences under my belt I think will serve me well going forward and give me a little more confidence.”

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