“Why wait?” said Cousins. “Robert says he’s ready, so I think we have to trust him. Let’s get him out there and let’s get some lineman falling around his knees.”
Cousins also insisted that Griffin’s rehab has reached the point where “he doesn’t need a knee brace anymore. His knee should definitely be unprotected out there.”
Griffin has been waging a very public battle with head coach Mike Shanahan, pushing to get back on the field in game action before Washington’s regular season opener on September 9th. The 2012 Rookie of the Year underwent reconstructive knee surgery just seven months ago, but says he has received constant encouragement from Cousins from the beginning.
“A lot of backups might secretly root for an opportunity to be the starter,” said Griffin, “but not Kirk. He’s been challenging me throughout my rehab. Just hours after my surgery he called me and said, ‘Hey, why don’t you try to jump up and down on it. I believe in you.’ And it’s not just words either. It’s actions like trying to push me down a flight of stars to ‘test my reactions and knee strength.’ He’s the kind of teammate you want to have.”
Cousins says he believes Griffin should get back on the field immediately “if for no other reason than that life is very short. What if this preseason game is his last opportunity to ever start a game? What if, heaven forbid, something happened to him, such as the brake line in his car somehow got cut and he slammed headfirst into an embankment, catching fire?”
The backup then excused himself and headed off towards the players’ parking lot carrying his gym bag and also a flashlight and a pair of shears.