Ravens backup quarterback Robert Griffin III stood before reporters Tuesday and mostly deflected questions about his last NFL start almost three years ago, and whether he had something to prove Sunday.
With Lamar Jackson, as well as several other starters, sitting out the team’s regular-season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Griffin will start at quarterback for the Week 17 matchup.
“This game is not about me. It’s about the team,” said Griffin, who last started Jan. 1, 2017, a 27-24 loss to the Steelers as a member of the Cleveland Browns. “Those guys in front of me, those guys going out there with me, every play are looking to play at a high level, looking to go out and execute. So I’m not going to make this game about me.”
Griffin, the No. overall 2 pick in the 2012 draft and former NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, was out of the league during the 2017 season before signing a one-year deal with the Ravens in April 2018.
Griffin was the third quarterback last season behind Jackson and Joe Flacco, but returned on a two-year deal to back up and further mentor Jackson.
This season, Griffin has appeared late in multiple blowouts, as well as lined up in the backfield with Jackson and running back Mark Ingram II for the team’s “Heisman Package.”
While it’s been years since Griffin made his last start, he said he feels like a better player, partly because of improved health. Griffin said he played through a broken shoulder in his non-throwing arm as a member of the Browns.
In five starts in the 2016 season, Griffin completed 59% of his passes for 886 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed for 190 yards and two touchdowns.
Griffin, 29, has stated his desire to once again become a starter in the NFL, while also expressing appreciation for the Ravens organization for giving him an opportunity to re-enter the league.
He’s found pleasure learning and playing in an offense that caters to the mobile abilities of him and Jackson. And on Sunday, Griffin will get the chance to show what he can do as QB1.
“He’s RG3, can’t forget about that,” Jackson said after the team’s 31-15 win over the Browns. “He done set his own records before. Ain’t nothing change. I just can’t wait to see it. If it does happen, I already know what’s going to happen. He’s going to turn up.”