Second-year quarterback Kirk Cousins will start at quarterback for the Washington Redskins on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons in place of Robert Griffin III, according to reports Wednesday.
Coach Mike Shanahan hinted at a possible switch on Monday when he said if Griffin did not play this week that he would sit out for the rest of the season.
The Redskins (3-0) are in last place in the NFC East and such a move would be made to protect Griffin from injury in the team's remaining three games. Griffin suffered a major knee injury in the Redskins' playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks in January but returned in time for the start of the regular season.
Cousins, a fourth-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Michigan State, played in three games last year. He started against the Cleveland Browns and led the Redskins to a victory, finishing his rookie season with 33 completions in 48 pass attempts for 466 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions.
This season, Cousins has appeared in two games, including last Sunday's 45-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, and has thrown for 107 yards.
Griffin has struggled this season after his quick recovery from the knee injury. But his mobility is not the same as when he led the Redskins to the playoffs last year and was named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the year with 3,200 passing yards and 815 rushing yards. In the the past five games alone, Griffin was sacked 24 times.