Rex Grossman Must Step Up in Wake of Kirk Cousins' Injury and RG3's Recovery

Alex KayCorrespondent IAugust 20, 2013

Aug 19, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman (8) throws the ball as Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward (97) chases in the third quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Rex Grossman may not be a fan favorite in Washington, but like it or not, the third-string quarterback may be thrust into the starting role at some point during the 2013 season.

Kirk Cousins, the popular backup that helped lead the 'Skins to crucial victories late last year while Robert Griffin III was injured, went down with a sprained foot against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football.

According to Mike Jones of The Washington Post, Cousins suffered a mid-foot sprain after being tackled by Lawrence Timmons in the second quarter.

Fortunately, X-rays came back negative, although the second-year signal-caller was spotted leaving the stadium wearing a walking boot and using crutches.

Cousins is set to undergo an MRI on Tuesday morning and no timeline for recovery has been set.

RGIII is still far from a lock to participate in Washington's Week 1 contest against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 9, which means Grossman is now the only serviceable quarterback on the Redskins roster at this juncture.

The 11-year veteran performed admirably after Cousins went down, connecting on 10-of-16 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown.

Unfortunately, Grossman also displayed the poor decision-making that made him such polarizing figure during his tenure as the starter with both Washington Redskins and the Chicago Bears.

He threw a head-scratching interception right to Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith in the third quarter and tossed two more incomplete passes before retiring to the sideline for the rest of the contest.

If he's going assume starting duties in the nation's capital—or even primary backup—Grossman will need to work on eliminating those types of mental mistakes.

Washington narrowly captured the NFC East crown last season and needed miraculous performances from both RGII and Cousins to make the playoffs. Due to Griffin's injury-prone nature and Cousins' recent foot issue, there is a high probability that the third-stringer will see time on the field in a must-win situation.

Grossman and his signature turnovers once cost Chicago a chance at winning the Super Bowl and would certainly submarine the Redskins' chances to make a run of their own.

The 32-year-old veteran simply cannot afford to let mistakes like the third-quarter interception happen. At this stage in his career he is useful as nothing more than a game manager and should not be taking deep shots down the middle of the field.

If head coach Mike Shanahan is forced to use him in a regular season situation, expect the leash to be short and the running game to be much of the focus. When Grossman is given the green light to throw, he would be best served avoiding risks and making questionable decisions.