Former Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III leaves the field during warm-ups prior to the Redskins game against the Miami Dolphins at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on September 13, 2015. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson has not officially named his starting quarterback for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, but multiple reports have Robert Griffin III scheduled to make his first start since the season opener.
Citing a source, Dan Graziano of ESPN reported that "barring an unforeseen health setback in practice" that the Browns plan to start Griffin.
"That has been the vibe even before they left for the bye week," Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer said Wednesday of the plan to start Griffin. "(Griffin) talked like that Monday, and he spoke like that again today."
Griffin has not played in a game since suffering a broken bone in his left shoulder. He was placed on injured reserve after the injury, but he was cleared for contact on Nov. 29. He practiced that day and again Monday and Wednesday this week.
Josh McCown, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan would be the other candidates to start Sunday's game, but every indication is that it will be Griffin.
The Browns, who are coming off a bye week, are 0-12 and desperately want to avoid being the first team since the 2008 Lions to go 0-16.
This is Griffin's first season in Cleveland after spending his first four NFL campaigns with the Washington Redskins.
The Browns would like to get a look at how Griffin fares in the final four games before deciding on how to address its quarterback situation in the offseason.
Officially, Jackson is remaining non-committal.
"We're going to practice guys and see where they are, but no decision today," Jackson said. "(Griffin) looked good. He's moving around and throwing the ball. It's hard to get four guys reps."
Jackson acknowledged protection problems might make him hesitant to activate RGIII, who is still on the injured reserve/designated to return list.
Griffin said he will go along with whatever decision Jackson makes, but he is talking like he expects to start.
"I get an opportunity to go out, put my skills to the test with this team to try to open up some new things, some new holes and figure out what our game plan will be this upcoming week," Griffin said.
"But I've played Cincinnati before. I know they know a little bit about me. It's not like there's no tape on me but whatever surprises that we have, hopefully we execute them to the best of our ability. This team (Bengals) is an extremely physical, really good defense, and it'll be a challenge. But we're up for it."