OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens backup quarterback Robert Griffin III is preparing to make his first start in almost three years.
Baltimore has already clinched the top seed in the AFC playoffs, so several starters, including Lamar Jackson, will not play in the regular-season finale against Pittsburgh.
That has opened the door for Griffin, a former second overall pick by the Redskins, to take the reigns of the offense. But he simply does not want that to be the focus.
"I'm not going to make this game about me," said Griffin, who is 12-of-17 for 129 yards with one touchdown and one interception this season. "I know everybody wants to. It's just a blessing, honestly, for what I've been able to go through and come out of. I wouldn't be here without God, and honestly, I wouldn't be here without the Ravens giving me an opportunity last year.
"So, I'm very thankful, very grateful, but I'm not looking at that stuff. We're just trying to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. [It's] a division game, and we know that they need it. And I know that everyone thinks that we don't, but the guys in that locker room feel differently.”
Griffin made his last start since Jan. 1, 2017, when he was dealing with a broken shoulder for the 1-15 Cleveland Browns. This time, he's slinging the ball for the best team in football looking to make a deep run in the playoffs.
Griffin was 29 fo 40 for 232 yards with two touchdowns, an interception and a lost fumble in a 27-24 loss to Pittsburgh in that last start. He expects a different result with the Ravens.
"One, I'm healthy. I was playing with a broken [non-throwing] shoulder back then," he said. "I don't know if everybody knew that. But I'm healthy, and I've learned a lot. So, to be in the position I've been in the past two years, you can either be upset about it and don't work, or you're upset about it and you work. And I worked through it. So, I just try to be a testimony for everybody who's ever going through something to keep fighting.
"Eventually, you'll come out on top, and hopefully you get Lamar Jackson as [your] starting quarterback and you get an opportunity to play in the last game of the year."