Redskins pull McNabb late against Lions

When the Redskins had one last chance to defeat the Lions on Sunday in Detroit, they chose to do so without starting QB Donovan McNabb.

Trailing 31-25 with 1:45 remaining and the ball on their own 28-yard line, Rex Grossman took the field for the Redskins. He didn’t stay on the field for long, though, fumbling the ball on the first snap after he was sacked by Kyle Vanden Bosch. Ndamukong Suh returned the fumble 17 yards for a Detroit touchdown, putting the final nail in Washington’s coffin.

We haven’t received an injury update out of Detroit, so effectively, McNabb was benched. He was still on the sideline in a baseball cap and didn’t appear injured.

It wasn’t the best of days for McNabb, who completed 17 of 30 passes for 210 yards and one touchdown with one interception.

We can’t wait to hear from Redskins coach Mike Shanahan post-game on this call.

UPDATE: As expected, Shanahan faced a number of questions during his postgame news conference regarding his unexpected benching of McNabb.

Shanahan said Grossman gave the Redskins their “best chance to win” because of his comfort level and knowledge of the terminology in the two-minute offense, and that health wasn’t a factor in the decision. When asked how McNabb felt about the decision, Shanahan said, “He understands.”

“I don’t think any quarterback likes it, but you got to make those tough decisions,” Shanahan said.

Shanahan reiterated that McNabb remains the starter for the Redskins.

— Frank Tadych

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