Robert Griffin III stood on the practice field with his left arm in a black sling and shared a few words with rookie receiver Corey Coleman Wednesday.
After sustaining a broken coracoid bone in his left shoulder late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 29-10 loss at Philadelphia, Griffin has once again been relegated to being a spectator and now a player-coach.
Griffin, who was voted 1 of 5 team captains for the season, might be down but he’s not out.
“I’m still here,” Griffin said Wednesday. “I’m still in it with these guys. I have said it, I love this team and I am going to be here. I believe in these guys, God willing, I will be able to come back this year and play.
“I am going to make sure my mind is right and I get my body back righteous so I can have that opportunity. I’m in it with these guys every step of the way.”
Griffin will meet with doctors and be re-evaluated in 3-4 weeks to determine whether or not surgery, which would likely end his season, will be required.
For the third time in his career, a major injury has derailed his dreams of being one of the NFL’s elite. He tore his right ACL during a playoff game against Seattle his rookie season that saw him win rookie of the year honors, dislocated his ankle in 2014 and now this.
His bid to resurrect his career with the Browns has been put on hold. Now he’s doing everything he can to avoid thinking about the string of bad luck that has followed him early in his career and remain positive.
“You can’t think that way,” Griffin said. “I’ve only missed 8 games in my career due to injury so you gotta make sure you stay focused, keep your mindset right and don’t let [injuries] affect you as far as they way you think or go out there and play the game.”
Griffin went down with 3:45 left to play in the game when he got clobbered by Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills before he could get out of bounds on the Philadelphia sideline following an 11 yard scramble on a third-and-15.
“It’s just a rare injury,” Griffin said. “I really didn’t know what to think. But now that we know, [I’ll] just listen to what the doctors and trainers tell me to do and go from there.”
Griffin was surprised to see Mills there as he tried to get out of bounds before he got hit. Many have criticized Griffin for once again putting himself in harms way but he said Wednesday that was not the case.
“If you watch the play, I am trying to run out of bounds and the guy comes from out of bounds back in bounds and hits me,” Griffin said. “It is not that it is an illegal play on his part. I don’t know. I do not necessarily think it was a dirty play. I just think it is something unfortunate that happened. If you watch my reaction, I was as surprised as everybody else.
“I was not trying to run anybody over or make it a bravado moment. I was just trying to get out of bounds. That is the way it all unfolded. It is unfortunate.”
The Browns placed Griffin on injured reserve Monday but he could still return this season. Under league rules, Griffin can’t practice for a minimum of 6 weeks and the earliest he could return to the field would be Week 10 – Nov. 10 at Baltimore.
Griffin completed 12 of 26 passes for 190 yards and added 37 rushing yards in his Browns debut against the Eagles.
“I could have played better in that game and look forward to having that opportunity to play better later in this year,” Griffin said.