Colt McCoy had become a forgotten man in the NFL.
Once viewed as the Cleveland Browns’ future, McCoy has been largely irrelevant the past three seasons. He served as Brandon Weeden’s backup in Cleveland during the 2012 season, was a reserve quarterback in San Francisco last year, and signed with Washington prior to this season with little fanfare.
McCoy, as it happens to countless others, simply seemed destined to be a great college player who never quite transitioned well into the NFL.
Is there enough time left for McCoy to rewrite his story?
He certainly looked the part Sunday in reviving the Redskins and leading them to a 19-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans.
McCoy replaced Kirk Cousins in the second half and his first pass was a 70-yard touchdown to Pierre Garcon. He finished the game 11-of-12 passing for 128 yards and a 138.9 passer rating.
Sure, it was only a half and against one of the worst teams in the league, but it’s got to start somewhere. The moment certainly meant a lot to McCoy, who choked up during his postgame news conference.
“This league is very unforgiving, and I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to still be able to play,” McCoy said. “It didn’t work out in Cleveland. I learned a lot of football last year in San Francisco.”
McCoy’s performance appears to have bought him at least one more start, coming against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night. He’s taken over for Cousins and is the new stopgap until Robert Griffin III returns from an ankle injury.
As far as Griffin’s status, Redskins coach Jay Gruden said: “He still has a long ways to go to show that he can play, to show that his ankle is 100 percent. He has to be 100 percent ready to go. We don’t want to put him out there at 85 percent, have it be weak and have him do something else to it. We want to make sure he’s ready to go when he’s out there.”
The Redskins have been dealt their fare share of injury blows so far this season, and they suffered another when it was announced that linebacker Brian Orakpo would miss the rest of the season with a torn right pectoral muscle.
Orakpo, the former University of Texas standout, is a three-time Pro Bowler, but has battled injuries throughout his career and his days in Washington could be numbered.
For now, the Redskins could look to rookie Trent Murphy to fill the void, as well as Jackson Jeffcoat, another Texas ex.
Orakpo, who had 10 sacks last season, had a 1/2 sack this year along with 24 combined tackles. Orakpo is the second defensive starter Washington has lost, joining cornerback DeAngelo Hall (torn Achilles).
“It’s a blow,” Gruden said. “DeAngelo was a blow obviously to the secondary, you lose a proven starter like that and have to play the people behind them, and it hurts your depth and hurts your leadership, obviously. It’s the same thing with Brian.”
“We left a lot of points out there. The game should never have been that close. We made it harder on ourselves.” — receiver Pierre Garcon, after the Redskins had to settle for four field goals on drives last week.
9 The Redskins are minus-9 in the turnover department, tied for the worst margin in the NFL.