LANDOVER, Md. —
"It's a different dynamic when he's not in there. You don't have to account for the quarterback running the football," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "He's a distributor who throws it and hands it off to someone else, so it did it change our game plan when he left the game."
On the play after Griffin was injured, the Redskins took a 10-7 lead on a 23-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff, who had missed four of his five previous kicks, including pushing a 31-yarder wide right in the second quarter Sunday.
Another rookie quarterback, fourth-round pick Kirk Cousins, took over for Griffin on Washington's next possession.
"I did get a word from a trainer that I would be going in and I would be finishing the game," Cousins said.
On his first snap in the NFL, Cousins completed a 4-yard pass to Joshua Morgan, before the Redskins wound going three-and-out and punting. On Cousin's second drive, he completed a 77-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss to give Washington a 17-14 lead. But Cousins was intercepted on each of Washington's final two possessions.
The Redskins would like to see Griffin back under center next week against the visiting Minnesota Vikings.
Perhaps with a slightly more cautious approach on plays like the one that sent him to the sideline Sunday.
"You'd like to have him throw the ball away when he's outside the pocket and not have to take that hit like that," Washington linebacker London Fletcher said. "But he's a competitor, he's trying to make plays, so you can't fault him for that. But we're definitely concerned. Hopefully he'll be able to bounce back."