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McNabb out for season opener? Don’t count on it

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A couple of days ago, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan hinted that new quarterback Donovan McNabb may not be ready for the team’s first game against the Cowboys.  McNabb has a sprained ankle and will at least be out for the rest of the preseason.

The most curious part of this development is that Shanahan is also sitting backup quarterback Rex Grossman in the Redskins’ final preseason game.  That move would seem to indicate that he is truly worried about McNabb’s health.

Don’t buy it.  Shanahan may not be as secretive and manipulative as Bill Belichick, but he’s been known to play some mind games of his own.  If the Cowboys don’t know who is going to start at quarterback for Washington until kickoff, it could affect their pre-game preparation.

Shanahan knows this and will likely milk this “injury” up until the night of September 12.  Is sitting Grossman a detriment to the Redskins?  Yes, a small one.  Is it as great as the potential gain the Redskins would acquire from having Dallas be forced to prepare for two quarterbacks?  Not even close, and Shanahan knows it.

But the Cowboys should simply disregard this information and prepare as usual for Washington–meaning they should assume McNabb will play.  If by some chance he doesn’t and the team hasn’t prepared for Grossman. . .so what?  It’s Rex Grossman.  He’s gross, man.

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