The Washington Redskins are just one game away from having their star quarterback on the field. On Thursday night, the defending NFC East champs will visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their final preseason game of 2013.
According to multiple reports, Robert Griffin III will be ready to play in the team’s Week One game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He has yet to be officially cleared by Dr. James Andrews, but is expected to start, despite missing the entire preseason because of his surgically repaired knee.
In the last game before Griffin comes back, Pat White will get the start at quarterback. White was a standout at West Virginia and got drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 2009. When he was released after a year, he decided to try his hand at minor league baseball. Now, the 27-year-old is attempting to resurrect his football career and will get a chance by playing all 60 minutes on Thursday.
“Pat White will play the entire game unless he goes down,” head coach Mike Shanahan told reporters. “If he goes down, Rex (Grossman) will go in. If he goes down, I’m going in. There’s nobody left.”
The Redskins depth chart seems to be solidified at quarterback with Kirk Cousins as the backup and Rex Gross at No.3, but White might be able to find work elsewhere if he plays well. The quarterback completed seven of 14 passes last week for 96 yards and ran for a touchdown. Cousins, who may be the best backup in the NFL, will miss his second straight game with an ankle sprain.
Washington might be having the best preseason of any team, winning all three games. Tampa Bay, on the other hand, has struggled to find their rhythm as the regular season approaches. The Buccaneers are 1-2, with their only win coming by one point against the Dolphins last week.
Even in their victory, the Bucs offense did not look sharp. Josh Freeman missed on 10 of his 16 pass attempts and was sacked five times. Tampa’s ground attack wasn’t anything special, picking up 90 yards on 26 carries.
While the Redskins will be without their top star, the Bucs won’t have their best defensive player. Darrelle Revis is still recovering from his ACL tear in 2012. Like Griffin, though, he should be good to go in Week One.
The contest, which starts at 7:30 p.m. ET, will be blacked out locally in Tampa Bay, but can been seen in Washington on NBC 4. Fans can watch a live stream online by purchasing NFL Preseason Live.