McNabb is already suffering from an ankle injury and coach Mike Shanahan has said his status for week one is in doubt. This is not terribly surprising.
Over the past five years, McNabb has missed an average of over three games per season, suffering two season ending injuries along the way. 2008 was the only season where he played in all 16 games.
Any NFL player will be more susceptible to injury after ten years in the league. And in Andy Reid’s pass-happy offense, McNabb has taken a lot of hits over the past ten seasons.
He will also hold the ball for an extended period of time, often using his legs to buy time and try to find an open receiver. While this may sometimes lead to a big play, it also leaves him vulnerable to taking some extra hits.
With the Redskins offensive line still a question mark, it is likely he’ll take a decent amount of abuse again this season. And that means that Rex Grossman might be called on for a couple of games.
Will Grossman prove to be an effective backup? Based on his play with the Bears, you wouldn’t want him as a long-term starter. (Although to his credit, he wasn’t as bad as some people think and did QB a Super Bowl team) I think he’ll be fine in limited action though. Remember, the reason that backups are backups is because they weren’t good enough to be starters. Any team will suffer when their top guy goes out.