WASHINGTON (AP) -- The future of the NFL at quarterback lies with players such as Robert Griffin III, EJ Manuel and Kirk Cousins.
The future isn’t now, at least when it comes to Saturday night’s preseason game between the Washington Redskins and the Buffalo Bills.
Turn back a clock at bit: While those young guns nurse their injuries, it’ll be Rex Grossman vs. Kevin Kolb.
Griffin, last year’s NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, isn’t playing in the preseason as he makes his way back from major knee surgery. His backup, fellow second-year player Cousins, left the Redskins’ Monday night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a sprained foot.
The next man up, therefore, is Grossman, who once led the Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl but these days is the guy-who’s-been-around adviser to the two up-and-comers. As much as he’d like to be a starter again, Grossman is the first to realize he’s not likely to surpass Griffin -- or even Cousins -- on the depth chart if either are healthy.
"I don’t worry about that stuff," said Grossman, who turned 33 Friday. "I think Kirk has done a great job since he’s been here, and he’s got a bright future, so I’m just going about it like any other game, trying to prove myself, if nothing else just so I can continue to have fun and play well."
There’s no laughing matter in Buffalo, where 16th overall pick Manuel appeared to be on track to win the starting job until he hurt his left knee in last week’s game. He’s out for the rest of the preseason, robbing the rookie of needed work and handing the reins -- at least for now -- to Kolb, the seventh-year player who’s never been able to establish himself as a full-season starter despite adequate chances with both the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals.
Kolb has had his own setback since joining the Bills, missing more than a week of training camp after twisting his left knee when he tripped on a wet mat while moving between practice fields.