Robert Griffin III Says He Almost Switched to Track Before Joining Ravens

The former Rookie of the Year opened up after throwing his first touchdown since 2016.

NFL: AUG 22 Preseason - Ravens at Eagles
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  • Robert Griffin III threw his first NFL touchdown pass since 2016 in Week One.
  • In an emotional Instagram post, he revealed that he contemplating returning to professional track and field during his year out of football in 2017.
  • Griffin is now the Baltimore Ravens' backup QB behind Lamar Jackson.

    Upon entering the NFL, Robert Griffin III was instantly the most electric player in the league. As the years have gone by, though, he's been riddled with injuries, and even spent 2017 entirely out of football. Now a member of the Baltimore Ravens, he threw his first touchdown pass since 2016 in the 2019 season's first week, and he's reflecting on his journey back to this point—including nearly switching to another sport.

    With the Ravens thoroughly walloping the Miami Dolphins, Griffin got his chance for some game action in the game's fourth quarter, and threw a touchdown to tight end Mark Andrews. While Griffin was once one of the most exciting players in the league, the act of getting back on the field was a special one for him, and as he detailed in an emotional Instagram post after the game, his 2017 away from football included a possible return back to a track and field career: "The contemplating of a transition back to track @usatf," he wrote in the post.

    Griffin was a track star in high school, and even competed as a hurdler for a season at Baylor before focusing on football, so his interest in the sport isn't totally out of nowhere. Still, though, the idea of RGIII, who beat out the recently-retired Andrew Luck for Offensive Rookie of the Year back in 2012, leaving football to return to track is a wild one.

    Griffin continues to describe his road back to throwing touchdowns in his post, including the detail that his initial workout with the Ravens wasn't even for himself, but rather to showcase the talents of his friends, wide receivers Willie Snead and Michael Floyd. "They made me look so good I got an opportunity to compete and show them I was worthy of a roster spot," he said. From there, Griffin got his own workout, which eventually led to his landing a roster spot last season.

    After serving as the Ravens third stringer a year ago (behind Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson), he had the opportunity to move up to the backup spot this offseason when Flacco was traded and Jackson officially became the franchise QB. RGIII beat out former Penn State star Trace McSorley, and put himself in sole position to put the Ravens on his shoulders should anything happen to Jackson.

    Griffin talks about meeting his wife, having his first child just this past week, and the rest of his long journey back to the league in his emotional post. For someone who was once so promising, seeing a return to success after a long period of hard work and perseverance is super rewarding.

    And as Griffin showed in his time at the end of the game—going 6-6 passing with a touchdown—there just might be a chance that he's still got a spark of that 2012 magic.

    View this post on Instagram

    They see 980 days.... I see a year out of the league in 2017, staying down and honing my craft. The birth of our daughter Gloria. The long training sessions @fauathletics @miamihurricanes @ucf.knights and @wwos preparing for an opportunity. The contemplating of a transition back to track @usatf Marrying my soulmate @gretegiii A workout with the Ravens that wasn’t even for me but rather for my guys @needivsnead_83 and @mikefloyd They made me look so good I got an opportunity to compete and show them I was worthy of a roster spot. Earned a Roster spot. Learned from my teammates what it means to play like a Raven. Ran scout team Qb for the number 1 defense in the league last year. Inactive for most of the season in 2018 until @joeflacco hurt his hip. Ran an entire practice when Joe was hurt and @new_era8 was sick and there were no other QBs on the roster. Ran motions and routes in 2 Quarterback sets in 2018. Signed a 2 year deal to come back to a great team with a great coach and great players. Missed all of the preseason with a broken thumb. The birth of our Daughter Gameya on Saturday night. Late night Southwest flight to get to the game. Watching your brothers ball out and get you an opportunity to finish the game. Touchdown. You see.....there is always more to the story than meets the eye. Everyone sees the result but doesn’t know what you had to go through to get there. Never count yourself out and always be ready. Thank You @ravens Coach Harbaugh and my great teammates for helping me every step of the way. Let’s keep it rolling, On to Arizona #RavensFlock #Team #StayFocused #BigWeLittleMe #GodisGood

    A post shared by Robert Griffin III (@rgiii) on

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