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RG3 says there is "No doubt" he can still be the Browns starting quarterback

Robert Griffin III returned to the practice field Wednesday and hopes he can soon return to play in the remaining games

BEREA, Ohio--The RG3 experiment is apparently not over.

The Browns Robert Griffin III was back at practice Wednesday. Griffin has been designated for return from injured reserve and returned to practice Wednesday. He suffered a fractured coracoid bone in his left shoulder during the season opener at Philadelphia and was placed injured reserve on Sept. 12.

Griffin thinks there is still time this season for him to show that he can still be the long-term answer for the Browns at quarterback.

“Oh, no doubt," Griffin said. "I have the confidence in that. I can’t speak for Coach or anyone else, but they have expressed that to me. I still feel like I can be the guy for this team, for this organization. I look forward to going out there and proving it.”

Griffin said from the times he played in the 2016 preseason and in the first game against the Eagles, he's confident he can still play at a high level in the NFL.

"Experiencing that little bit of success and then just the feel of the game in the first game have helped me with my mental process of knowing," Griffin said. "I know I can play at an extremely high level and I can do the things that a lot of people said I can’t do. I just have to continue to go out and try to prove that.

"I would not want to do it anywhere else but here with these guys because I know how hard they work and I see it every single day," he said. "That is something special. I know 0-11 is not anything special and everyone is going to look at that, but the guys in this locker room have a special quality and we have to make sure we go out and prove it the rest of this year and then moving on to the future.”

Griffin was glad to get back on the field and take the first step in returning.

“It was awesome to get back out there with the team and to move around a little bit," he said. "It is always fun. You always appreciate things when it is taken away from you. I enjoyed practice and liked being out there with my teammates before I was hurt. Now, I get the chance to be back out there and I just continue to appreciate it more and more.”

Several of his teammates saw Griffin's excitement at practice.

"He's excited to be back," Corey Coleman said. "He's working hard to get back on the field."

McCown said it's good to have Griffin back with the quarterbacks. 

"It's fun to have him back out there throwing the ball around."

Terrelle Pryor agreed.

"He's a very talented player," he said. "And it's great to have him back out there (practicing)."

Griffin was asked how soon he thinks it will be before he's ready to play.

“We are all on the same timetable," Griffin said. "It is just about making sure that I am healthy – not healthy enough, not almost there, just healthy. I want to go out there and help this team win games. I am on the same page as coach, (Executive Vice President of Football Operations) Sash (Sashi Brown), the doctors and trainers, united front and that.

Hue Jackson said Monday that Josh McCown will start Sunday against the New York Giants and said Kevin Hogan will likely be the backup. The Browns have a bye the following week and then play the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 11 at FirstEnergy Stadium. 

Jackson said that Griffin has not been cleared for contact as of yet and said it was too early to know if he will be able to play this season. 

"He practiced and moved around," Jackson said. "We will see today how he feels after practice. That is important because that is probably the first time he has done that much work. He was out there moving around. He looked like Robert. We still have some work to do. Obviously, he is not cleared medically for contact so this is the first stages of this. We still have some hurdles to jump, but we will get through them.”

Jackson didn't want to speculate on Griffin's future with the Browns as the starting quarterback.

“Josh is our quarterback right now," Jackson said. "We will cross that bridge once I know he is totally healthy. To talk about that now is a little premature.”

The Browns have 21 days to activate Griffin or he must remain on the injured reserve list for the remainder of the season. 

Griffin signed with the Browns as a free agent in March. He completed 12 of 26 passes for 190 yards and added 37 rushing yards against the Eagles. His rating was 55.0.

In contrast to the Browns having used six different quarterbacks through just 11 games this season, the Giants Eli Manning will make his 194th straight start at quarterback for the Giants this Sunday. 

"That's a credit to our offensive line," Manning said on a conference call Wednesday.

Griffin said his mindset is just to continue to prepare to get back on the field.

"I just go out and do my job and my job is to come to work every single day and try to help this team win games," Griffin said. "I want to try to get back on the field and make it happen. I can only control what I can control and go from there."

Griffin was asked if durability will be a factor in determining if the Browns can proceed with him as the quarterback.

“I am 26-years old," he said. "I am not 45 (laughing). I have a lot of years of football left, and I am really grateful. It is Thanksgiving. It is the time to give thanks, and I am thankful for having the ability to have so much experience in the league, good and bad up to this point at 26-years old, being in multiple offensive systems.

"It is all a learning process," he said. "As far as the durability goes, I am still young, I am still a kid and I look forward to having a long career. I know it is going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of determination, and I am willing to do it. I am not afraid of hard work.”

Extra Points

Williams Practices: DB Tramon Williams missed last week's game with a knee injury, but returned to the practice field on Wednesday. OL Joe Thomas (knee) and QB Cody Kessler (concussion) were the only two players not practicing. 

Taylor, Reynolds Limited: DB Jamar Taylor (groin) and DB Ed Reynolds (knee) were limited. Reynolds started last week at free safety along with rookie DB Derrick Kindred at strong safety.

No Orchard: With QB Robert Griffin III being designated to return from injured reserve, it means that LB Nate Orchard will not return. Orchard suffered a high ankle sprain early in the season and there was some thought that he would be the player that returned, but his season would be over.

 


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