- Robert Griffin III returned to NFL action on Thursday night for the Baltimore Ravens after a year out of the league.
- Griffin was once one of the most exciting players in the NFL, with a rookie campaign that had many believing he would be a future star before an injury derailed his career.
- While Griffin’s performance wasn’t overwhelming, he showed that he still has value in the NFL in his limited time under center.
After a year’s absence from the NFL, Robert Griffin III made his return to the league last night with the Baltimore Ravens. It was his first NFL action since the 2016 season when the BrRowns cut him and he never landed with another team.
Back in 2012, RG3 authored one of the most impressive rookie seasons a quarterback has ever had in the NFL, leading Washington on a seven-game winning streak to close the season an win the NFC East for the first time in 13 years. Since then, it’s been a tough road for Griffin, with injuries and setbacks forcing him all the way out of the league last season before signing a one-year deal with Baltimore this year.
His return got off to a somewhat rocky start – his first throw was picked off, although his placement was solid and the interception was clearly the fault of receiver Breshad Perriman.
— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) August 3, 2018
But Griffin would settle in after and the opening miscue and look just fine, completing 7-of-11 passes for 58 yards including one touchdown.
Even though he hasn’t been in the burgundy & gold for almost 3 years, it brings a smile to my face seeing RG3 doing well. pic.twitter.com/uS0tH6NDKa
— Shaun Salehi (@DoubleS30) August 3, 2018
Overall, Griffin’s performance was what it needed to be – while he didn’t break off any wild 60-yard scrambles, he looked at ease with the pace of the game and was hitting receivers in the hands consistently.
After the game, Griffin was emotional thinking about his return to the league.
“People don’t understand that once you’re out of the league for a year, it’s really hard to get back in, especially if you’re a quarterback and a high draft pick. It’s just really hard to do,” Griffin said. “[Thursday] was an emotional day for me, just coming back out here. I know it’s the preseason, it’s the Hall of Fame game, but to have an opportunity to come back out here and play football is something that I really cherish.”
It’s still unclear what Griffin’s role with the Ravens will be this year, or if he’ll even make the team’s final roster. If anything, he should be able to help fellow Heisman-winner and dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson adjust to the league as they play together through the preseason.
But no matter where he ends at the start of the season, it was exciting to see him back in action on Thursday night. While he’ll never reach the heights that many thought possible after his stellar rookie campaign, Griffin showed last night that he still could have value to an NFL team.