Browns to start Robert Griffin III at quarterback against Bengals

AFC North: Cleveland Browns

The one-win Browns, who own two first-round picks in this year’s draft, are in the market for a quarterback better than Robert Griffin III, who is due $7.5 million next season. Reports say Cleveland is among a handful of teams interested in trading for New England backup Jimmy Garoppolo. They will also have two free agent options – Taylor and Colin Kaepernick – if the Bills and 49ers release those dual-threat quarterbacks.

(Winslow Townson / Associated Press)

Three months later, Robert Griffin III is starting anew with the Browns. RG3 wants to make the wait worth it. 

“It’s all about being in the right situation at the right time,” he said Thursday. 

Griffin, who didn’t make it out of Cleveland’s season opener without getting hurt, will make his second start on Sunday when the 0-12 Browns host the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Griffin hasn’t played since breaking a bone in his left shoulder in the Sept. 11 season opener at Philadelphia, an injury that only strengthened the argument that he’s brittle and set the stage for the worst stretch in Browns history. 


But after showing Coach Hue Jackson in practice that he’s healthy and ready, Griffin will make just his second start since 2014. 

It’s another chance to show doubters that he’s durable and perhaps the beginning of a four-game audition to prove to the Browns that he can be their long-term answer at quarterback. 

“My job is to go out there and make them believe that,” he said. “Every single day that you come into the building, you have to show the coaches, show the organization you’re going to do what it takes to be that guy. 

“That doesn’t change just because they name you the starter or just because you’re playing. It’s an everyday thing. Not just a Sunday thing. 


“That’s always been my focus is to come in here and show my teammates that I can do this for them. If we all do our job equally, we can go out there and win football games and that’s the bottom line.”

Newton’s struggles

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said that while this season has been “demoralizing,” his struggles on the field aren’t from a lack of preparation off of it. 

Newton’s numbers are down — way down — from his MVP season a year ago when he threw 35 touchdowns passes and led the Panthers to a 17-2 record and an appearance in the Super Bowl. He has only 14 touchdown passes through 11 games and the Panthers (4-8) are all but out of playoff contention entering Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers. 

“It doesn’t matter how much I prepare, if it doesn’t translate on the field people will say ‘Oh he’s garbage,’” Newton said. “So for me, it’s trying to get it to carry over from practice to games. It just hasn’t (translated) this season, and I don’t have nobody to blame but myself.” 

But teammates and coaches are quick to rally to Newton’s defense. 

“If anything at times, it’s over, he does more” work, backup quarterback Derek Anderson said. “When we were out in Oakland he was in (the film room) at 11 o’clock at night. So I know it’s not from a lack of preparation. And it never has been. He does countless hours of stuff on his own and sometimes I’m like, ‘Go home. Get some sleep.’”



Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian returned to practice Thursday, his first full practice with the team since before he sprained his left foot in an overtime loss to Kansas City on Nov. 27. Siemian appeared to be moving around well during the 20-minute media access period. … The New York Jets are placing Nick Mangold on injured reserve because of an ankle injury, ending the star center’s season and possibly his tenure with the only NFL team he has played for. Mangold aggravated an ankle injury during the Jets’ 41-10 loss to Indianapolis on Monday night.

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