Yes, you read the headline correct: not only is Robert Griffin III injured, the Cleveland Browns have placed him on injured reserve.
For the second year in a row, the Browns lost their starting quarterback in the opener. The Browns announced that tests on Griffin’s left shoulder revealed a “fractured coracoid bone.” The team says that surgery is not required, and that he’ll be re-evaluated in 3-4 weeks.
Because the Browns placed Griffin on IR, the earliest he could return is Week 10. Veteran quarterback Josh McCown will be the starter moving forward, and presumably the rest of the season, unless the team feels Cody Kessler is ready at some point. I wouldn’t bank on that, though, given how limited Kessler looked this preseason.
Browns head coach Hue Jackson released the following statement regarding the quarterback situation:
“It’s very unfortunate, Robert came in and has worked extremely hard to learn our offense and earn the respect of his teammates. 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. We all know these are the realities of the NFL, injuries occur and you have to find ways to overcome them so they don’t impede your progress. Robert will do everything in his power to rehab and get healthy but Josh McCown is on this roster for a reason and we have great confidence in him. He is more than capable. His veteran presence has been an asset to our team throughout our process of preparing for the season. We look forward to him assuming the role of the starter and leading our offensive unit.”
Part of Griffin’s contract included per-game roster bonuses of $46,875 per game. That means he will be out a minimum of $375,000, but probably more than that unless he returns right away.