CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns have placed starting quarterback Robert Griffin III on injured reserve because of a broken bone in his left shoulder, the organization announced Monday afternoon.
According to a release from the team, Griffin will miss an extended period of time after tests showed he fractured the coracoid bone in his left shoulder. Although surgery is not yet required, Griffin will be reevaluated in three or four weeks.
Griffin has not been designated for return, but can be at any time. However, he will miss at least eight games after the roster move.
“It’s very unfortunate,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said in a release announcing the injury. “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.”
Against the Eagles, Griffin completed just 12 of his 26 throws for 190 yards with no touchdowns and one interception, and was the Browns’ second-leading rusher with 37 yards on five scrambles outside of the pocket.
Near the end of the Browns’ 29-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday, Griffin scrambled out of the pocket and ran toward the sideline on the right side of the field.
Griffin was pushed from behind into another Eagles defender, who hit the quarterback in the upper torso. Griffin was evaluated on the sideline and finished the game, but further examinations revealed the broken bone.
“We all know these are the realities of the NFL,” Jackson said. “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.”
With Griffin now out for an extended period of time, the Browns will turn to veteran backup Josh McCown.
In his first season with the Browns, McCown won the starting job over Johnny Manziel, but was hampered by injuries for the bulk of the year.
On the Browns’ very first drive of the 2015 season, he suffered a concussion while lunging for the end zone, and missed the following game. Later in the year, he played through shoulder and rib issues before succumbing to a broken collarbone in a Monday Night Football loss to the Baltimore Ravens in late November.
When healthy, McCown proved to be an impactful player, as in eight games for the Browns, he completed 186 of his 292 attempts (63.7 percent) for 2,109 yards and 12 touchdowns against four interceptions.
Early last season, McCown broke a pair of franchise records in a 33-30 win over the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.
McCown completed 36 of his 51 throws for 457 yards and two touchdowns in the win over the Ravens. The 457 yards were a single-game franchise record, surpassing the previous mark of 444 collected by Brian Sipe against the Baltimore Colts on October 25, 1981.
For putting together a 457-yard, three-touchdown (two passing, one rushing) performance against the Ravens, McCown, the first Browns quarterback with three straight 300-yard passing games, was recognized as the AFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Ironically, McCown and the Browns take on the Ravens in the home opener at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday.