Cousins sprains foot in Redskins' win

David Elfin, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

LANDOVER, Md. -- Already playing without franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III, the Washington Redskins lost another signal-caller Monday.
The question is how long Kirk Cousins will be sidelined after spraining his right foot on a tackle by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons during the second quarter of the Redskins' 24-13 win.
The injury was to Cousins' mid-foot, though X-rays were negative. Rookie safety Phillip Thomas received a similar diagnosis after being hurt in the Aug. 8 preseason opener at Tennessee only to have a season-ending Lisfranc sprain discovered.
"I'm feeling good," Cousins said with his foot in a walking boot. "We'll know more (Tuesday after I have an MRI).
"When I first did it, I didn't feel like it was anything serious. It feels almost like a sprained ankle, just in the middle of my foot. As I started walking back to the huddle, I just decided ... preseason game No. 2 and a long season to go, now's not the time to try to be a hero."
The Redskins long ago decided that they wouldn't give Griffin that chance in preseason, preferring to let the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year make his 2013 debut in the regular-season opener against Philadelphia Eagles, exactly eight months after surgery on his right knee. Griffin, who returned to full practice last Wednesday, was evaluated before the game by surgeon James Andrews for the first time in a month.
"(Dr. Andrews) feels great about Robert's progress," coach Mike Shanahan said. "He's going to re-evaluate him after the (preseason finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers). If there (are) no setbacks, he thinks (Robert) will be ready (to face the Eagles)."
It's doubtful that Cousins will be ready to play Saturday against the Buffalo Bills, leaving the quarterbacking duties to 2011 starter Rex Grossman and Pat White, who's making a comeback after being out of the NFL the past two years.
The Redskins (2-0) won Monday despite committing four turnovers and three personal fouls -- which Shanahan termed "silly mistakes." In all, Washington was whistled for seven penalties for 72 yards.
The Steelers (0-2) gave the ball away three times and committed eight penalties for 95 yards.
"It's poor execution," said Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin, whose team plays Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs. "We've gotten a little better in some areas, but obviously not enough to win ... because we were highly penalized. We turned the football over three times in the first half, and it's going to be difficult to win (doing that)."
Cousins departed after completing two of three passes for 19 yards and running twice for 14 yards. Washington led 7-3 when he exited.
Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan forced Steelers backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski to fumble on the next series. Nose tackle Barry Cofield recovered at the Pittsburgh 13-yard line, but Washington running back Keiland Williams fumbled the ball back on the next play.
Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer (14 carries, 68 yards, both game highs) gave it back three plays later. That was Pittsburgh's third turnover. Redskins receiver Leonard Hankerson soon turned it into a one-handed 10-yard touchdown grab from Grossman to put Washington ahead 14-3.
Kai Forbath's 38-yard field goal in the final minute of the second quarter boosted the margin to 17-6 at halftime.
The Redskins were on the verge of padding the lead at 9:13 of the third quarter when Grossman's pass for rookie tight end Jordan Reed was intercepted by safety Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith at the Pittsburgh 6.
Steelers backup quarterback Landry Jones connected with fellow rookie Markus Wheaton on a 45-yard bomb before tossing a 10-yard touchdown to receiver Derek Moye on fourth-and-1 to draw the Steelers within 17-13 on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Washington's Roy Helu ran for a 30-yard touchdown with 3:21 left to close the scoring.
Kerrigan scored first, picking off Ben Roethlisberger's screen pass for Dwyer and returning it 22 yards with 8:24 left in the first quarter. That was Roethlisberger's only incompletion among his six attempts for 66 yards.
The Steelers closed within 7-3 on ex-Redskin Shaun Suisham's 28-yard field goal 2:35 into the second quarter.
NOTES: LB Brian Orakpo (quad), CB Josh Wilson (shoulder/pec) and S Brandon Meriweather (knee) joined Griffin as Redskins' inactive starters. ... Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell, who sustained a left knee injury in last week's loss to the New York Giants, started for Pittsburgh but left with a right mid-foot injury during the first quarter. He'll have an MRI exam Tuesday. ... Pittsburgh RB Will Johnson (ribs) exited during the second quarter, and RB Baron Batch (stinger) left in the third. ... Washington's Cofield (fractured right hand), Hankerson (right knee) and WR Aldrick Robinson (left thigh) all came out at halftime. Cofield expects to be ready for the opener with his hand taped. Williams (knee) left during the fourth quarter.

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