With McNabb out, Grossman has grand opportunity

Rex Grossman is set to get his first start of any kind since midway through the 2008 season when the Washington Redskins play the New York Jets Friday night in the third preseason game.

Grossman will step in for Donovan McNabb, who has been sidelined with a sprained left ankle, an injury bad enough that coach Mike Shanahan has said it would force him out even if it was a regular-season game.

A former first-round draft pick by the Chicago Bears, Grossman has been sharp in preseason so far. He has completed 25-of-39 passes for 335 yards and two touchdowns while posting a passer rating of 97.7, sixth-best in preseason, according to the Washington Post. But it’s important to remember Grossman’s work has come against second teamers.

He’s viewed as the backup to McNabb right now and certainly a strong showing against the Jets could cement his position and boost his stock around the league for the next time he’s a free agent. Grossman’s last start came against the Tennessee Titans in 2008 when the Bears lost 21-14 at Soldier Field. He replaced Kyle Orton that day.

The bigger question in Washington is when will McNabb be ready?

“I don't think it's a bad ankle sprain," Shanahan said. "I don't think it's too bad. But it's still real sore right now, sore enough where he couldn't play this week if it was regular season, so that kind of gives you an idea."

As the Post article points out, McNabb hasn’t been the most durable performer in recent seasons. He’s played in all 16 regular-season games just once in the last six years.

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