Robert Griffin III: Injury Issues Have Made Kirk Cousins Invaluable

David Daniels@TheRealDDanielsSenior Writer IJanuary 6, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 07: Quarterbacks Robert Griffin III #10 (L) and Kirk Cousins #12 of the Washington Redskins take the field before playing the Atlanta Falcons at FedExField on October 7, 2012 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Kirk Cousins has become the most valuable player on the Washington Redskins not named Robert Griffin III.

RGIII only sat out one game this season, but concussion and knee injuries made Skins fans hold their breath more often than any fanbase would prefer over its franchise savior. His latest injury, however, which ultimately ended his and the Redskins’ 2012-2013 campaign, has solidified Cousins’ status as an asset.

It’s an elementary concept. Quarterbacks with the ability to scramble are at a higher risk of injury. The careers of Michael Vick, Steve McNair, Donovan McNabb, Daunte Culpepper and more attest to that. Griffin isn’t a run-first QB, but his legs are what make him special, and because of that, he’ll always be one play away from an injury.

That’s why Cousins is now invaluable.

Mike Shanahan was heavily criticized for selecting the Michigan State passer in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL draft. What he “should’ve done” was surrounded Griffin with talent, not create a quarterback controversy.

Well, there was never any controversy. But Griffin did go down and Cousins stepped up. In fact, he impressed so much so that in the little action he received, Cousins made Skins fans dream of eventually flipping him for a first-round pick.

But while Cousins may one day boast first-round value on the trade block, now that Griffin has officially earned the label of "injury-prone," Washington needs the former waste of a Day 3 pick.

What Steve Young was to Joe Montana, Cousins now is to RGIII. The two must be inseparable, unless Shanahan somehow gets his hands on another starting-caliber quarterback.

And that’s what the Redskins must have at all times with Griffin. A typical, respectable second-string passer doesn’t cut it. They need a stud capable of stepping in without their offense taking a huge step backward. That’s what Washington currently has with Cousins and why he should get comfortable in D.C.


David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.