Robert Griffin III was supposed to be one of the more interesting stories in the NFL this season. Then he suffered what looked like a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 1. So much for that, right?
Wrong. The Cleveland Browns chose to designate Griffin as the player they can active off injured reserve for this season. He returned to practice on Wednesday.
There are still steps to take before Griffin can play. He has to be cleared for contact. He has already been ruled out of this week’s game against the New York Giants. But you’d have to assume that the Browns wouldn’t activate him and not give him a shot at some point before the season is over. It’s not like they are in a playoff race at 0-11. They probably want to get another look at Griffin before the offseason.
It’s also not like the Browns have any clarity at quarterback. Josh McCown is a veteran journeyman; the Browns know what he is. Rookie Cody Kessler has played OK but has also been injured a lot, and hasn’t given Cleveland any reason to think he can be a top-level NFL starter. The Browns brought in Griffin with the idea that he could maybe re-establish his career and become their permanent starter, and he could still have the chance to do that before the season is done.
“I still feel like I can be the guy for this team, this organization,” Griffin said (h/t to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer for posting the video).
The other part of the story is that Griffin could be the guy to keep Cleveland from 0-16 infamy. The Browns have just five more shots left to get a win. Nobody remembers 1-15 teams. But 0-16 teams will be cited forever. The 2008 Detroit Lions are alone in that group. The Browns don’t want to join them. If Griffin can help the Browns get that all-important one win, that alone would be worth activating him.
The Browns are somewhat interesting because of their chase for one win before the season is over. If Griffin gets an opportunity to start again this season, that will be pretty intriguing as well.
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