Cleveland Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III suffered a shoulder injury that will cause him to miss an "extended period of time," the team announced Monday. The Browns placed Griffin on injured reserve, meaning he will be out for at least eight games. The earliest he can return to the field is Week 10 against the Baltimore Ravens.
Griffin is not expected to undergo surgery, but he will be re-evaluated in 3-4 weeks.
"This is a tough loss because everyone has seen how invested he has been in this team and his dedication to the work needed to improve his craft," Browns coach Hue Jackson said.
With Griffin sidelined, the Browns will turn to Josh McCown to be the new starter in Cleveland, but that’s not an unfamiliar role for the 37-year-old veteran. Last year, McCown started eight games for the Browns and fought off fans’ calls for Johnny Manziel before a broken collarbone eventually ended his season.
Griffin, 26, has suffered several injuries in his NFL career and has earned a reputation for recklessly finding contact rather than avoiding unnecessary punishment. That’s a tag he isn’t going to shake with his latest injury, which happened when he barreled into Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills rather than running out of bounds or sliding, although Jackson told reporters on Monday that he thought Griffin was attempting to get of bounds and shouldn't have slid.
RGIII, my dude, why do you hate being healthy? pic.twitter.com/C79Aa1fa5B— Mike Tunison (@xmasape) September 11, 2016
In training camp, Griffin told reporters he was fully committed to sliding on rushing attempts to avoid injuries.
"It’s something that Coach has emphasized to me," Griffin said on Aug. 19. "It’s something I’ve learned over my career just with situations that I’ve been in. I can’t thank everybody who has helped me get to that point where it’s hammered in. I’ve learned my lesson from mistakes in the past."
Griffin completed 12 of 26 passes in his unimpressive Browns debut, finishing with 190 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. He did, however, connect with Terrelle Pryor on a 44-yard pass that set up a 2-yard score for Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland’s only touchdown of the day.
Griffin's injury is also costly for him after he signed an incentive-laden contract with the team in the offseason. Going on injured reserve will cost the quarterback at least $3.5 million in incentives that he'll no longer be able to reach.
The Browns host the Ravens in Week 2. Last season, McCown won AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for a Week 5 overtime win over Baltimore.