RGIII has gone through plenty of hardships during his time in and out of the NFL, and that’s why he’s cherishing every second of his new opportunity with the Ravens.
For the first time in about a year and a half, Robert Griffin III got the opportunity to play in an NFL game on Thursday night.
Griffin was out of the league for the entire 2017 season, and last appeared in a game during Week 17 of the 2016 season as a member of the Cleveland Browns. Now, he’s with the Baltimore Ravens, and he got to start for the team in the Hall of Fame game against the Chicago Bears on Thursday in Canton, Ohio — an eventual 17-16 win for Baltimore.
Though it was just a small sample size, Griffin completed 7 of 11 passes with a touchdown and an interception that wasn’t really his fault.
As the preseason gets underway, however, Griffin will be fighting desperately just to make the Ravens roster. With longtime starting quarterback Joe Flacco and presumed heir apparent Lamar Jackson as his competition, and the Ravens having not carried three quarterbacks since 2009, it certainly won’t be an easy task for Griffin.
But having experienced devastating injuries in the NFL, as well as being out of the league entirely, Griffin didn’t take a single second of being on the field for granted during Thursday’s game.
“People don’t understand that once you’re out of the league for a year, it’s really hard to get back in, especially if you’re a quarterback and a high draft pick,” Griffin said, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. “It’s just really hard to do. [Thursday] was an emotional day for me, just coming back out here. I know it’s the preseason, it’s the Hall of Fame game, but to have an opportunity to come back out here and play football is something that I really cherish.”
Only six years ago, Griffin was a Heisman Trophy winner coming out of Baylor, and was headed to the Washington Redskins as the No. 2 overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft. Along with Andrew Luck, the first overall selection in the draft (made by the Indianapolis Colts), Griffin was supposed to be the NFL’s next great quarterback. But after injuries and ineffectiveness plagued his four seasons in Washington, including eventually losing his starting job to Kirk Cousins, he spent a year in Cleveland, and then spent a year out of football before being given a chance to start fresh in Baltimore this year.
Griffin will have to work extremely hard during this preseason if he wants to make the Ravens roster, but based on how he felt about getting be on the field in the Hall of Fame game, he seems to be up to the challenge.