ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — There's always something, it seems, with the Washington Redskins' quarterbacks.
Starter Kirk Cousins has interception problems and missed some opportunities for big plays in the team's most recent game.
No. 2 Colt McCoy sliced his foot with scissors while cutting off tape and missed a day of practice.
And No. 3 Robert Griffin III — well, who knows where things stand with him at this point? He lost his job to Cousins, has yet to be in uniform for a game this season, and has been declared off-limits for interviews by the club's PR staff.
Heading into Sunday's game against the visiting Philadelphia Eagles, with both NFC East teams at 1-2, Cousins has three thrown for three touchdowns and four picks. His passer rating of 81.3 ranks 21st out of the 30 NFL quarterbacks who have attempted at least 60 passes.
And yet, Redskins Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams said Wednesday, "He's ahead of the curve. ... He's been getting the ball out. He's been seeing the right people. Throwing it to the right people. To me, he's doing a very, very good job, as of right now. ... You couldn't ask him to do any better."
Publicly, at least, coach Jay Gruden has been supportive of Cousins — and stayed away from the sort of unvarnished criticism he sent Griffin's way when the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year struggled last season.
Gruden said Wednesday he has confidence in Cousins.
He also is making sure the bar is not set too high for his current starting QB.
"He's done some good things," Gruden said. "I don't know if we're all expecting him to be 25 for 30 and 420 yards and five touchdowns every week. We're hoping for gradual improvement. ... He's shown enough in the first three games so far that he is improving."
Added Gruden: "He does enough at practice and in games that I think he's done some good things and we've just got to try to grow with him."
In preparing to face the Eagles, Cousins re-watched last September's Week 3 game at Philadelphia, when he started for an injured Griffin and threw for 427 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in Washington's 37-34 loss.
"Really, it was, I guess, a pleasant surprise to see how far I've come since that game. It was a productive game offensively, but, boy, we left a lot of plays out there. And I thought my footwork was pretty inconsistent. I thought some of my decision-making or just my overall procedure of playing the quarterback position was inconsistent at times," Cousins said.
"So I came away from watching that film saying, 'Wow, it's encouraging to see how far I've improved,'" Cousins said. "And it takes going back and watching that game to really be able to see that."
Notes: McCoy was back at practice Wednesday after sitting out Monday, when he "couldn't stop the bleeding" from the scissors mishap, Gruden said, noting: "He didn't want me to tell anybody" about how the injury occurred." Gruden said McCoy is OK now. ... During the portion of practice open to reporters, second-year guard Spencer Long was with the first-unit offensive line at left guard, but Gruden said Long and rookie Arie Kouandjio are competing to replace LG Shawn Lauvao, who is on injured reserve. Lauvao needed surgery after tearing tendons and ligaments in his left ankle in last week's loss at the Giants. ... WR DeSean Jackson (left hamstring), CB DeAngelo Hall (right toe), LB Perry Riley (left calf) missed practice. ... CB Chris Culliver was limited in practice because of soreness in his knee, quadriceps and groin. "Precautionary, I believe," Gruden said. "I'm hoping."