Browns to start quarterback Robert Griffin III against Bengals

ByDan Graziano ESPN logo
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Robert Griffin III is back ... again.

The Cleveland Browns announced on Thursday that Griffin will start against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

Griffin was the Browns' starting quarterback for the 2016 season opener, but he broke a bone in his shoulder during the Week 1 loss in Philadelphia. Since that time, the Browns have used Josh McCown and Cody Kessler as starting quarterbacks, while Charlie Whitehurst, Kevin Hogan and wide receiver Terrelle Pryor also have lined up behind center and thrown passes for the team.

The Browns are 0-12 and trying to avoid becoming the second team in NFL history to finish a season 0-16. TheDetroit Lionsfinished 0-16 in 2008.

The Browns signed Griffin, the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, last offseason in hopes that new coach Hue Jackson could help him revive his career in Cleveland. Griffin's career in Washington after that rookie season was a disappointment, as he was often injured and ended up losing his job to Kirk Cousins. The Browns had the No. 2 pick in the 2016 draft, but after deciding Carson Wentz was not the franchise quarterback they sought, they traded that pick to the Eagles to amass picks in future drafts.

As of now, the Browns project to have the first pick in the 2017 draft, but their coaching staff and front office would like to get another look at Griffin before the end of the season to see whether and how he might fit into their short- and long-term quarterback picture. Griffin is scheduled to earn $7.5 million in salary and bonuses in 2017, but none of that is guaranteed, and the Browns would save that much against the salary cap if they were to release him at the end of the season.

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