Robert Griffin III acknowledged Friday that with three quarterbacks on the Ravens’ 53-man roster, there’s a good chance he’ll be inactive on game days.
“It’s definitely a possibility,” he said after practice. “Unless I go out there and play special teams or kick return, very rarely do you see three quarterbacks active. I’m not saying that’s not going to happen. I’m not going to speak anything I don’t want into existence. But I will be understanding of that throughout the season.”
The former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL Rookie of the Year has known since April that with Joe Flacco starting and first-round pick Lamar Jackson on hand, his odds of earning playing time are long.
“I’m working as if I’m going to be active, as if I’m going to be starting, just like everybody in this locker room is,” he said, looking ahead to Sunday’s season opener against the Buffalo Bills. “I don’t put too much weight on that. I’ll be ready on game day and if they say, ‘Hey [No.] 3, you’re up,’ I’ll be ready to go.”
When Lamar Jackson was taken No. 32 overall in the draft this year, Ozzie Newsome acknowledged they were “building for the future” with the Heisman Trophy winner. But, he added, “In order for us to win this year, we need Joe Flacco.”
Griffin hit an important milestone in his comeback when Ravens coach John Harbaugh, quarterback coach James Urban and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg called last weekend to say he’d made the 53-man roster. “It’s been a long journey,” he said, referring to the year he spent out of the NFL in 2017. “They just said they appreciate how hard I’ve worked and I had a great preseason. They feel like I’m an asset to the team. So whenever you hear that, it’s a great feeling, because that’s really what I set out to do is make them believe … in my talent and my leadership ability while I was here. I think that was accomplished.”
“Us as quarterbacks, I think we’ve done a great job trying to work together and see the game through one pair of lenses and be able to go out there and help Joe when he’s out there playing,” Griffin said.
He added that he’ll remind Jackson to avoid unnecessary collisions going into his regular-season debut.
“I just want him to know he’s the quarterback, and he’s got to protect himself like that, especially since in many cases, he’ll be the active quarterback,” Griffin said. “He has to be ready to go in and play.”