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Place: FedEx Field, Landover, Maryland
The playing status of rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III is the dominant theme as the Washington Redskins prepare to host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Griffin, the No. 2 overall pick in April’s draft, suffered a concussion in last week’s loss to Atlanta.
While he practiced Wednesday and Thursday and said he has no concussion-related issues, Griffin has yet to be medically cleared to play – a decision that may not be made until Sunday. The surprising Vikings roll into town riding a 4-1 record – surpassing last season’s win total – and sit tied atop the NFC North.
Second-year quarterback Christian Ponder has not put up staggering numbers but, like Griffin, has been steely efficient while utilizing the talents of wideout Percy Harvin and running back Adrian Peterson.
The Vikings have allowed an average of 11.0 points during a three-game winning streak and are coming off a dominating 30-7 victory over Tennessee. Harvin is second in the league with 38 receptions after hauling in eight passes for 108 yards and scoring on a rushing and receiving TD against the Titans.
Peterson has made a remarkable recovery after shredding knee ligaments in a loss at Washington last December. Peterson hurt his ankle early in last week’s victory but still rushed for 88 yards and is eighth in the league with 420 yards.
Washington Redskins (2-3): Regardless of whether Griffin plays, the Redskins will be looking to snap a startling eight-game home losing streak. Rookie Kirk Cousins relieved Griffin last week and tossed a 77-yard scoring pass to Santana Moss, but he was intercepted twice in the waning minutes of a 24-17 home loss to undefeated Atlanta.
Griffin has garnered most of the publicity while posting a 101.0 passer rating and running for 241 yards, but another Washington rookie has had a profound impact on the offense. Sixth-round pick Alfred Morris is coming off back-to-back 100-yard games and has scored four touchdowns while ranking fourth in the league with 491 yards rushing.
1. Griffin and Ponder rank 1-2 in the league in completion percentage at 69.1 percent and 69.0, respectively.
2. Washington signed K Kai Forbath and released Billy Cundiff, who missed three field goal attempts last week.
3. Peterson is one game shy of tying Robert Smith (29) for the most 100-yard efforts in franchise history.