Rookies provide a bit of intrigue in preseason

ASHBURN -- This is just a preseason game. Keep that in mind. And yet T-shirts are selling for $35 apiece, it's nationally televised and it's one of the more intriguing summer games in a while.

If nothing else, the presence of quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck makes a game that doesn't matter an intriguing one when the Redskins host the Colts on Saturday. It's also Griffin's home debut.

"You've got the top two guys in the draft," Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. "It's going to be game speed out there for much of the first and second half. We'll see what happens."

ยป One running back has returned; another takes a seat. Tim Hightower will play in his first game since tearing his left ACL on Oct. 23 when the Redskins host the Colts on Saturday. But Evan Royster will not play because of a sore left knee. Royster does not know how he hurt his knee but said he had trouble standing up Wednesday morning. An MRI was negative, and he initially thought he would play Saturday. He said he likely will return in a couple of days. Running back Roy Helu (Achilles) won't play either. For Hightower, Saturday will be emotional. "This is as big a game as I'm going to have. It's special," Hightower said. "I think about it every day." Hightower won't start Saturday. Rookie Alfred Morris could be in line for his second straight start.

Indianapolis drafted Luck first overall; the Redskins selected Griffin. Both teams appeared to get the quarterback they wanted. And because of where they were selected and the intense scrutiny over their games leading up to the draft, they always will be linked -- and compared.

"I think you realize that's sort of the nature of the beast, nature of playing quarterback, nature of being drafted one, two, at any position in any sport," Luck told reporters covering the Colts earlier this week. "I don't speak for him, but I'm sure he feels the same way. It's not too hard not to get too caught up in it. I have much bigger things to worry about. Football is the biggest team game there is."

Said Griffin: "I definitely look forward to playing the guy throughout my career. I think it will be exciting matchups every time we face each other."

And Griffin said Monday that because Luck doesn't play defense, he's not truly facing him. Of course, that's semantics. Their teams will play one another, and they will have large roles in determining the outcome. Not that it matters, of course, as both need to worry more about development in the summer than wins and losses.

Still, even players are anxious to see both quarterbacks in the same game.

"I am because Luck is the real deal," Redskins nose tackle Barry Cofield said. "Everything I see on tape tells me he'll be a good player. You can tell. And RGIII, I get to see him every day. I'm excited to see both guys and their career arc. But as far as Saturday, I know they're not going to arm wrestle in the middle of the field."

Based on the numbers, Luck is off to a stronger start. But he also played in a pro-style offense at Stanford, while Griffin needs to get used to reading his receiver progressions, something he didn't have to do at Baylor. In two games Luck has completed 26 of 41 passes for 363 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Griffin is 9-for-14 for 119 yards, one touchdown and two fumbles.

Luck has been sacked once, Griffin three times.

"Luck's a real good quarterback too," Hall said. "He makes all the throws. He has a lot of poise. ... I'm excited to see [Griffin] in practice every day, seeing the way he works and seeing the way he wants to get better. We definitely got the right guy."