LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Robert Griffin III left the Washington Redskins' exhibition game against the Detroit Lions because of a stinger and a possible head injury Thursday night.
The Redskins initially said their starting quarterback was questionable to return, but later ruled him out for the rest of the game. Team spokesman Tony Wyllie said the club wouldn't comment on whether Griffin had cleared concussion protocol until coach Jay Gruden's postgame news conference.
Griffin was hurt early in the second quarter when he fumbled the ball without contact while scrambling, then got landed on by defenders. He stayed down on the field for about 5 minutes and was tended to by trainers, while some teammates kneeled nearby.
After Griffin got up, he walked slowly to the sideline, then kept going until he left the field and entered the tunnel that leads to the Redskins' locker room. Griffin gave a thumb's up to spectators as he trudged away.
The 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year completed 2 of 5 passes for 8 yards and was sacked three times and hit hard on several other occasions while playing four series.
He fumbled twice. The first was recovered by the Redskins after a strip-sack on their opening possession. The second came on Griffin's final play and was recovered at Washington's 11 by Detroit, which then needed four plays to score a touchdown for a 10-0 lead.
It capped a rough week for Griffin, who caused a national "firestorm," to use his word, with comments in a television interview about striving to be the best quarterback in the NFL. He complained that his remarks were taken out of context, saying after practice Tuesday: "It's unfortunate that my name keeps getting used for headlines for people to click on stories. But I know what I want to be, I know what I strive to be and I'm not going to make any apologies for that."
Against Detroit, Griffin did not get much in the way of protection from his offensive line, which was without Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams but did include the other four starters, including No. 5 overall draft pick Brandon Scherff at right guard.
Early on, Griffin had one pass batted down by linebacker Tahir Whitehead. The fourth-year quarterback wound up on his back on a third-down incompletion on Washington's second possession, driven to the turf by linebacker DeAndre Levy on a delayed blitz. Later, Griffin was knocked down hard by defensive end Phillip Hunt, who blew past backup left tackle Willie Smith.
Washington went three-and-out on its second and third possessions, with Griffin still in the game. The Redskins have not scored a touchdown with Griffin in the game this preseason — and they didn't last preseason, either.
Backup Colt McCoy replaced Griffin in the second quarter Thursday.
McCoy's first drive went 80 yards and ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by rookie running back Matt Jones to make it 10-7. That was the score at halftime, which ended with McCoy fumbling at Detroit's 1. McCoy threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Bell to put Washington ahead 14-10 in the third quarter.
Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/AP_NFL