NFL Preseason Preview - Indianapolis (1-1) at Washington (1-1)|
By Scott Garbarini, NFL Editor
(Sports Network) - When fans of the Washington Redskins finally get the
opportunity to watch Robert Griffin III perform on his new home turf, there'll
be an added bonus awaiting them as well.
Griffin makes his FedEx Field debut in Saturday's incredibly intriguing
preseason encounter with Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, pitting the
top two selections of the 2012 NFL Draft whose careers will be forever linked
together against one another.
Luck was tabbed by the Colts to begin the post-Peyton Manning phase after
being taken with the No. 1 overall choice of April's draft, and the highly
polished former Stanford star has certainly lived up to his lofty status
through Indianapolis' first two exhibition outings. Luck has completed over 63
percent (26-of-41) of his passes over that span for a total of 363 yards and
two touchdowns, and the Colts have scored points on six on the 11 possessions
(5 touchdowns, 1 field goal) he's directed thus far.
The 22-year-old was intercepted twice in Indianapolis' 26-24 loss at
Pittsburgh on Sunday, however, with his first pick of the night returned 49
yards for a touchdown by Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor.
Griffin, who edged out Luck to win the coveted Heisman Trophy during his
junior season at Baylor and was taken by Washington with the second overall
pick, also had a bit of a rough night this past weekend. The charismatic young
quarterback managed just 49 passing yards and was sacked three times while
working the first half of Saturday's 33-31 defeat at Chicago, losing a fumble
on one occasion as well.
Fellow rookie Kirk Cousins had a far more productive night under center for
Washington, although it came against predominantly Bears' backups. The fourth-
round choice racked up 264 yards and threw for three scores in the second
half, completing 18-of-23 attempts along the way.
Aldrick Robinson, attempting to make the Redskins' roster as a reserve wide
receiver, helped his cause by hauling in a 49-yard touchdown pass from Cousins
and finishing with 104 yards on six catches.
Cousins' performance won't be creating any serious discussion about a
quarterback controversy, however, and Griffin was forced to operate against a
stout Chicago defense behind an offensive line that was without three starters
-- right tackle Jammal Brown (hip), left guard Kory Lichtensteiger (knee) and
right guard Chris Chester (ankle).
Brown and Lichtensteiger will likely sit out the entire preseason, but Chester
is slated to man his regular post during Saturday's tilt. Fullback Darrel
Young, who missed Washington's first two games with a strained hamstring, is
expected back this week as well.
The Redskins continue to have some health concerns at running back, with
veteran Tim Hightower (ACL surgery) and 2011 leading rusher Roy Helu
(Achilles) yet to see action this preseason. Both players did practice on a
limited basis this week, but each remains a question mark to suit up against
Their injuries have second-year man Evan Royster, who amassed 20 yards on his
two carries in the Chicago game, the favorite to open the regular season atop
the depth chart at the position.
Luck will be facing a Washington defense that will be without top pass rusher
Brian Orakpo (shoulder) and strong safety Brandon Meriweather (sprained knee),
both of whom were forced out of last weekend's loss. Ironman linebacker London
Fletcher will play, however, after sitting out the Redskins' most recent game
due to illness.
The Colts also head to FedEx Field with a few offensive losses, most notably
wide receiver Austin Collie. The injury-prone fourth-year pro sustained his
fourth concussion in 21 months during the Pittsburgh game and will be surely
held out for at least the remainder of the preseason.
Running backs Delone Carter and Mewelde Moore seem likely to be inactive a
second straight week with rib injuries, as will right guard Mike McGlynn
(ankle). Rookie Vick Ballard saw extended time with Carter and Moore sidelined
against the Steelers and led Indianapolis with 34 rushing yards on 10 carries.
Collie's absence could be offset by the possible return of speedy wide
receiver Donnie Avery from a hip problem that's forced him to miss the first
Indianapolis' headline injury on defense is to inside linebacker Pat Angerer,
out for at least another month after fracturing his foot in the team's victory
over St. Louis on Aug. 12. End Cory Redding is doubtful for Saturday's test
with a mild MCL sprain suffered over the weekend.
The Redskins have bested the Colts five straight times in the preseason,
including a 16-3 triumph at Lucas Oil Stadium last August. Indianapolis still
owns a 14-12-1 edge in the overall series, however.
08/23 09:15:48 ET