MIKE SHANAHAN gave Robert Griffin III a rest, and may have turned up the pressure on himself, too.
The Redskins' coach announced yesterday that he was benching the star quarterback for the rest of the season. Kirk Cousins will start, and Griffin will be the inactive No. 3 quarterback behind Rex Grossman.
Shanahan said he is benching Griffin to keep the quarterback healthy for the offseason, pointing out the 24 sacks and other hits Griffin has taken over the last five games. He said he ran the idea by owner Dan Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen, and that both offered their support.
"You've got to take a look at the risk and reward," Shanahan said. "And with Robert I thought that his hits were piling up on him, giving him his toll, and I was afraid that we would set him back."
Shanahan cited the need for Griffin to have a full offseason of development after missing this year's workouts while rehabbing from knee surgery. But there's no certainty that Shanahan will be around to coach in the offseason: The Redskins have lost five straight and are 3-10, their third losing season in Shanahan's 4 years in Washington.
"I think any time you have a year left on your contract and you have three wins, that's going to be out there," Shanahan said.
Griffin was clearly unhappy with Shanahan's move.
"I expressed my desire to play," Griffin said. "Of course I want to be out there and finish the season with my guys, see it through. He explained to me his reasoning, and at the end of the day coach's decision is what we go with."
* As expected, Denver coach John Fox has officially ruled out Wes Welker for tonight's game against San Diego because of a concussion.
The NFL's protocol for concussed players would have allowed Welker only to participate in light practice today and only if he had passed baseline cognitive tests earlier in the week.
Welker was going low to catch a pass Sunday when Tennessee safety George Wilson legally hit him in the side of his neck, knocking him from the game.
Welker also sustained a concussion Nov. 17 against Kansas City but played the following week at New England.
* Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is doubtful for Sunday's game against Dallas, according to a report.
ESPN, citing multiple sources within the organziation, reported that Rodgers, who is recovering from a broken collarbone, most likely won't play.
A scan performed last week showed the injured had not yet healed. He is expected to practice today to help make a final determination on whether he will start Sunday.
* Detroit running back Reggie Bush said he expects to be available to play Monday night against Baltimore. Bush missed Sunday's game against the Eagles after aggravating a calf injury during warmups.
* NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson announced he will step down from his post at the end of the 2013 season.
Anderson joined the league's football operations department in 2006 from the Atlanta Falcons, where he was an executive vice president and chief administrative officer for four seasons.
He has been a driving force in enforcing Goodell's safety initiative to eliminate helmet-to-helmet hits from the NFL.