John Harbaugh: No doubt you want Robert Griffin III on your team
BALTIMORE Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III did not play against his former team Thursday when Baltimore took on the Washington Redskins, though coach John Harbaugh said not to read anything into it.
Griffin, drafted second overall in 2012 by the Redskins, sat out the entire 2017 season and has been the third-string quarterback behind starter Joe Flacco and first-rounder Lamar Jackson.
Some wondered if Harbaugh’s decision to sit Griffin in Baltimore’s preseason finale meant the 28-year-old had made the roster or had sealed his fate the other way.
“I felt Lamar needed to start, and we needed to see Josh [Woodrum] quite a bit, too,” Harbaugh said after Baltimore’s 30-20 win. “He didn’t get too many reps. Robert really didn’t need to play. He’s played a lot so far in our eyes.”
The Ravens haven’t kept three quarterbacks since 2009, but Baltimore could prefer having another mentor besides Flacco for Jackson, a rookie. Harbaugh said the decision will come down to “the math” on the rest of the 53-man roster.
“There’s no doubt that you want Robert Griffin on your team,” Harbaugh said. “He makes our quarterback room better and stronger. He’s a very good quarterback. He looks like a starter to me. ... Certainly a backup in this league, without question. I mean, that’s not even close. I would like to have him on this team, we’ll just have to see how the math works.”
Griffin has played well in four games this preseason throwing for 243 yards for two touchdowns and one interception with a 65.9 completion percentage.
Griffin hasn’t seen regular-season action since 2016, when he started five games for the Cleveland Browns. He missed most of that year with a shoulder injury, but returned in December.
He remains the last quarterback to lead the Browns to a victory throwing for 164 yards in the team’s 20-17 win over the San Diego Chargers on Christmas Eve. The Browns have been 0-17 since, and 1-31 in the last two years.
The Redskins released Griffin in March 2016 ending a wild tenure that had its highs and lows. During his 2012 rookie season, Griffin led the Redskins to the playoffs and helped the team win the NFC East. But Griffin suffered a knee injury that year and it became worse when he tore his ACL against Seattle in the NFC wildcard.
Over the next three seasons, Griffin clashed with coaches amid frustrating play, disappointing results and more injuries. He was demoted to the third unit in 2015,a year Griffin didn’t take a regular season snap.
Despite the drama, Griffin said he had “nothing but love for the Redskins.”
“It was good to see them, good to talk to them and hug them,” Griffin said. “There’s no love lost. I’ll always remember being a Washington Redskin. I’m just looking forward to continuing my career and moving forward.”