BEREA, Ohio-- Hue Jackson wasn't ready to name Robert Griffin III the starting quarterback for Sunday against the Bengals, but it's looking more and more that way.
After the Browns practiced for an hour on Monday after taking the bye week off, Jackson was asked if he was ready to announce Griffin's return under center.
"Not yet, it's too soon," Jackson said. "We were just getting out there (today) and knocking off the rust."
Griffin has been cleared to practice, but has not been added to the 53-man roster as of yet.
"It's just about getting back out there slinging the ball around and making some calls and having some fun," Griffin said after Monday's practice.
Griffin disclosed that he was told by the doctors after he broke the coracoid bone in his shoulder that it was "highly unlikely" that he would be able to play again in 2016, but "the best case scenario happened."
Besides healing for Griffin, Cody Kessler has been sidelined with two concussions in the last month and the plan for him to finish the season is unknown. Josh McCown, at 37, isn't the long-term answer and he hasn't been able to take control of the starting job, opening the door for Griffin's return.
"It's a blessing to have the opportunity to play this game," Griffin said. "I was told I wasn't going to really have a chance to come back and play this year and it's all fallen the right way for me. Now, I have a chance to get back out there and have fun."
Griffin was asked what he needed to show Jackson that he will be ready to play on Sunday.
"Just try to come in every day and try to prove yourself that you're the guy and you're ready to go."
The return of Griffin to the field gives him a chance to help determine his future. Not only try to put himself back into the Browns plans, but by leading the Browns to wins, could also move the Browns down in the draft order, possibly causing them to not draft a quarterback at the top of the draft next spring.
Griffin was asked if the opportunity to play the rest of the season will allow him a chance to show he can still be the Browns quarterback of the future, but he didn't look at it that way.
"It's an opportunity to suit it up with these guys," he said. "I know how much this team means for guys who've been here like Joe Thomas, Joe Haden and other guys. I'm going out for those guys to help us get a win and not just one, but it starts with one, before you can get two."
Griffin said his hope for the team is to win the final four games and build confidence going into the off-season.
"With a group of guys who don't deserve to be 0-12, I just want to come in and give the team as much of a spark as I possibly can and have fun and hopefully, we can go 4-0 because that's what we've been working for in the last quarter of the season and I think it's real important."
Griffin was asked if he's thought what could've been had he not been injured in the season opener and missed the next 11 games.
"I've got that from a lot of the guys in the locker room, and coaches too, on what the possibility of what could've been, but we have four weeks ahead of us to do something about it," he said. "Cincinnati is the first up to bat and it might be the only one. We just have to take it one day at a time. This has been a tough time, a tough year, but this is a tough team and they've stuck together and I'm proud of that."
Fabiano Promoted: The Browns have signed OL Anthony Fabiano to their active roster from the practice squad.
In addition, the team signed OL Zach Sterup to the practice squad. OL Dan France was signed to Carolina’s active roster off the Browns’ practice squad.
Fabiano (6-3, 303) is a rookie out of Harvard. Originally signed by Baltimore as an undrafted free agent, he was waived on Aug. 29 and has spent 11 weeks on the Browns’ practice squad. He was active but did not play against New England on Oct. 9.
Sterup (6-9, 318) is a rookie out of Nebraska. Originally signed by Kansas City as an undrafted free agent, he has spent time on the Chiefs and Jets practice squads.
Thomas, Kindred, Telfer Out: The trio of OL Joe Thomas (knee), DB Derrick Kindred (foot) and TE Randall Telfer (thumb) were not practicing on Monday. Thomas usually doesn't practice more than a day or two during the week and is not expected to miss game time. Telfer had surgery on his thumb last week and Jackson said he expected him to return to practice this week.
By the Numbers: After the bye week, the Browns are 29th (27th rushing and passing) in the NFL on offense and 31st (31st rushing and 21st passing) on defense. This week's opponent, the Bengals are 8th in offense (15th rushing & 7th passing) and 21st in defense ((22nd rushing & 16th passing).
Coleman Giving Back: On Tuesday, OL Shon Coleman will visit young patients receiving treatment at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and deliver gifts for the holiday season in Angie’s Garden, along with local members of the US Marine Corps. Coleman, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010 and was cleared by doctors to return to football in spring of 2012, will also spend time with individual patients receiving treatment in the pediatric oncology unit. Coleman was a third-round draft choice of the Browns this year.