Redskins vs. Titans: First preseason game kicks off at 8 p.m.

Kirk Cousins will get the start at quarterback for the Redskins in Thursday's preseason opener. Photo: Associated Press

It may just represent the first game of a drawn-out preseason schedule, but the road back to the NFC East championship begins Thursday night for the Washington Redskins

Despite the absence of 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year Robert Griffin III, the Redskins will take the field Thursday in Nashville for their first tune-up game against the Tennessee Titans.

Kirk Cousins, who started in place of Griffin in Week 15 last season when RG3 went down with a knee injury, will get the start for Washington.

One thing to watch out for during Thursday's preseason opener is the performance of both the offensive and defensive lines. Both units have been working on their discipline before and after the snap throughout training camp in Richmond, according to Brian Tinsman of

Beyond Griffin, the Washington Post reports that as they continue to nurse injuries, both starting defensive backs Brandon Merriweather and DeAngelo Hall will likely sit out Thursday's game.

The Titans are trying to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2008, and coming off a 6-10 season in 2012, they're relying on the development of their own 2nd-year quarterback, Jake Locker, to get them back to near the top of the AFC South. Tennessee's starters are likely to play about 20 snaps before the reserves take over.

Washington's starters, on the other hand, will likely play about the same number of plays.

The game kicks off at 8 p.m.