Redskins bench RG3, will start Cousins at QB

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Redskins bench RG3, will start Cousins at QB
December 11, 2013, 1:45 pm
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Robert Griffin III has seven more interceptions and seven fewer rushing touchdowns than he had a season ago. (USA Today Images)

Updated: 5:10 p.m.

The Redskins have benched franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III for Sunday's game against the Falcons, head coach Mike Shanahan announced Wednesday. Backup Kirk Cousins will start. Griffin will be the No. 3 QB on the depth chart behind Rex Grossman, and RG3 is expected to be inactive for Washington's final three games.

"You've got to take a look at the risk and reward," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. "And with Robert I thought that his hits were piling up on him, giving him his toll, and I was afraid that we would set him back."

The Redskins had maintained all season that Griffin is healthy after offseason reconstructive knee surgery, but his production has taken an extreme dip. Washington is 3-10 and has lost five straight games a year after winning the NFC East at 10-6.

"I expressed my desire to play," Griffin said. "Of course I want to be out there and finish the season with my guys, see it through. He explained to me his reasoning, and at the end of the day Coach's decision is what we go with it."

Griffin's completion percentage has dropped from 65.6 to 60.1. He's thrown seven more interceptions in two fewer games. His passer rating has fallen from 102.4 to 82.2. RG3 had seven rushing touchdowns a year ago, but has none this season and is averaging nearly a full yard per carry less (5.7) than in 2012 (6.8).

After traveling to Atlanta in Week 15, the Redskins finish a lost season at home against Dallas and at the Giants.

For more, here's CSNWashington's coverage:

-Combative Shanahan addresses future and benching RG3

-RG3 on decision to be benched

-Shanahan: RG3 wants to play

-Kirk Cousins: 'It is what it is'

-RG3 backs Cousins