Should Ravens fans get ready for Robert Griffin III against the Bengals?
Robert Griffin III being the starter against the Cincinnati Bengals just became a lot more of a possibility:
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Lamar Jackson was sidelined from practice today with a stomach illness. Joe Flacco has been dealing with a hip injury and it was previously reported that he will be a game time decision. Jackson is a rookie quarterback who would be making his first start, so missing practice time isn’t a good thing. All of the sudden Griffin III seems the most likely quarterback to be ready for Sunday.
If Flacco isn’t ready to play the Ravens are in an unenviable position. They either have to get a preview of the Lamar Jackson era or play Robert Griffin III and deny their rookie his first big chance. Jackson’s stomach problem may have made life easier for John Harbaugh if his plan was to go with Griffin III. Much like Flacco’s injury, fans have to avoid thinking that this has all been planned or that the Ravens are pulling a fast one. That’s not what’s going on, and if that’s the perspective you’re looking for, look elsewhere.
The argument for Griffin III starting is that he’s been there and done that. He’s an NFL veteran who doesn’t need a simplified game plan. He’s been asked to make the throws that win and lose games. He’s had an NFL game rest on his shoulders before. It’s easy to see why that would be appealing to Harbaugh, when his entire coaching staff is standing on thin ice and he’s on a hot seat.
If Jackson misses another day of practice, it would be especially hard for the Ravens to go with their rookie under center. They need that time in practice to build a game plan that helps Jackson. They need that time to get Jackson up to speed. While everybody is looking forward to seeing Jackson, they don’t need to see him unprepared. He’ll be raw and a work in progress one way or another but he must be prepared for the game.
The Ravens aren’t playing games, however the Bengals have to prepare for all three quarterbacks. Judging by their previous encounters, they know how to beat Flacco already. They are going to keep the Bengals guessing and that may help them a little bit.