While he has gotten the opportunity to get on the field in several games this season, thanks to Lamar Jackson and company running up the score for the Baltimore Ravens, former Heisman Trophy winner and second-overall pick Robert Griffin III has not seen significant playing time single the regular season finale of the 2016 season, while he was a member of the Cleveland Browns.
Griffin was signed that year to function as the team’s starting quarterback, which Josh McCown as his backup, only he would suffer a significant injury in the first game of the season (playing behind a poor Browns offensive line, minus Joe Thomas of course). He would not return until Week 13, at which point he resumed his place in the starting lineup.
That season, in five games, he completed 87 of 147 pass attempts for 886 yards with two touchdowns to three interceptions. In the finale that season, he played the Pittsburgh Steelers, completing 29 of 40 passes for 232 yards with two touchdowns to one interception in a 27-24 loss. He fumbled twice in the game as well, losing one. Is he a better play now than he was then? Of course, according to himself.
“Number one, I’m healthy. I was playing with a broken shoulder back then. I don’t know if everybody knew that”, he told reporters yesterday. “I’m healthy, and I’ve learned a lot. To be in the position I’ve been in the past two years, you either be upset about it and you don’t work, or you be upset about it and you work. And I worked through it. I just try to be a testimony for everyone who’s ever gone through something, to keep fighting to eventually come out on top”.
Following that dismal season in Cleveland in 2016, he was released in the offseason, with the team drafting DeShone Kizer in 2017. They would draft Baker Mayfield a year later, of course. For Griffin, however, he remained unemployed until the Ravens brought him in to work out with some wide receivers they were looking to sign. They ended up signing him.
Since then, over the past two years, he has only attempted 23 passes, completing 14 for 150 yards, with one touchdown pass and one interception. He also has 43 rushing attempts for 210 yards and two more touchdowns.
This will be the seventh game in which he plays in 2019. Jackson hasn’t missed a snap due to injury or performance. The Ravens have simply been too good to keep him in late in games. Meanwhile, the Steelers will be starting an undrafted rookie who has already been benched, and all but six quarters of play in 2019 has been carried out by quarterbacks who’ve never thrown a meaningful pass before the season started.