How many quarterbacks will the Redskins carry?

How many quarterbacks will the Redskins carry?
August 14, 2014, 10:00 am
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How many quarterbacks will the Redskins carry on their 53-man roster?

The question comes around every year as cutdown day approaches. The Redskins have three QBs on their roster now. They could decide to keep Colt McCoy as insurance in case anything happens to Robert Griffin III or Kirk Cousins. Or they could bet that Griffin stays healthy and opt to use a roster spot for offensive line depth or to bolster special teams or to carry an extra running back.

Jay Gruden was noncommittal when he was asked which way he was leaning.

“We carried two and one on the practice squad in Cincinnati and we’re fortunate that nothing happened to our starter,” he said. “But the way Colt’s been performing and the way Kirk’s performing and Robert that’ll be a decision we make at the very end, but I’m very happy with Colt’s progress. He played very well in the preseason game. He’s done great out here at practice with the limited reps he’s getting, but that’ll be a decision Bruce [Allen] and myself will make when the time is right.”

The key part of what he said is that they did have a third QB in Cincinnati on the practice squad. McCoy is ineligible for the practice squad so if the Redskins were to go that route they would have to bring in a young quarterback and sign him to the practice squad. You would think that if they were going to go that route they already would have signed that practice squad QB to one of their 90 roster spots so that he could be in the process of learning the offense.

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One other important thing that Gruden said there was that the Bengals “were fortunate that nothing happened to our starter”. Andy Dalton has not missed a game or even a substantial portion of one due to injury in his three years in the league. Robert Griffin III did not miss a game last year due to injury (he was “shut down” the last three games of the season) but his history indicates that it would be smart to plan on the possibility of him missing some time.

McCoy played well enough against the Patriots’ reserves to warrant strong consideration for a roster spot. Given the lack of a developmental quarterback McCoy could be working his way off of the bubble and on to a spot on the 53-man roster.

The available evidence indicates that keeping three quarterbacks is the likely scenario here. But as Gruden noted the final decision will be made “when the time is right”, and that time is when final cuts are made on August 30. A lot could happen between now and then, including some injuries that might create a need for Gruden and Allen to use that roster spot at another position.