The Cleveland Browns barely got a passing glance at the guy they expected to carry the quarterback spot this season.
After the team spent an entire offseason, training camp and preseason getting him ready and talking him up, Robert Griffin III lasted one game, 26 passes and one loss. He has been sidelined since then because he broke the coracoid process of his left collarbone when he scrambled late in a 29-10 loss to the Eagles.
This month figures to be Griffin's chance, again, to re-establish himself -- and to prove to the only team that really wanted him last offseason that he is worth a longer look in a second season.
Hue Jackson has not named him the starter for Sunday's game against the Bengals, but all signs point to Griffin trying to be the guy to get the Browns' first win -- provided he makes it through practice and looks like he has shaken off three months of rust from not playing.
Griffin will have a more established Terrelle Pryor at receiver along with a first-round pick in Corey Coleman. He'll have two reasonably effective running backs in Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson. And he'll have a tight end who went to the Pro Bowl after last season.
He will not have an effective group in front of him. The Browns' two starting guards (John Greco and Joel Bitonio) both have been lost for the season to foot sprains, and center Cam Erving has struggled this year.
Rookie Spencer Drango will play one guard spot; the other will be manned by Jonathan Cooper, a former first-round pick who started for the Cardinals last season before being traded to New England, which released him after the preseason.
For Griffin, it might not be a matter of drop and read but duck and cover.
Browns quarterbacks have been sacked a league-high 45 times this season -- seven more than the next team. Cody Kessler and Josh McCown combined for 15 sacks over the past two games as attrition has worn on the group up front. Griffin's elusiveness and scrambling ability may be needed, but it was that ability that led to him getting hurt both in this season's opener and twice in Washington.
Griffin never has been injured on a called run in his career. He has been hurt when he runs and either does not protect himself by sliding, or does not see a guy as he heads out of bounds, which happened in Philadelphia. He has missed significant time with knee, ankle and shoulder injuries.
"His durability obviously has been something that’s followed him and unfortunately reared its head here again as well for him," vice president of football Sashi Brown said in mid-November.
Griffin remains undaunted, saying he believes he can still be the Browns' quarterback of the future.
"I still feel I can be the guy for this team, for this organization, and I look forward to proving it," he said Nov. 23.
Confidence has never been an issue.
If he's going to prove it though, he'll have to do far better than he did in the opener. And he'll have to do it after not playing in a game or in full-speed practices for three months. Against the Eagles, Griffin completed 46 percent (12-of-26) for 190 yards, with no touchdowns, an interception and three sacks. The Browns scored 10 points in that game and had 288 total yards -- 168 in net passing. Griffin's Total QBR of 28.2 was second-worst in the league for the season opener.
Of that game Griffin recently said: "Experiencing a high level of success and the feel of the game in the first game have helped me with my mental process. I know I can play at an extremely high level, and I can do the things that a lot of people said I can't do. I've just got to continue to go out and try to prove that. But, you know, I wouldn't want to do it anywhere else but here because these guys, I know how they work. I see it every single day. That's something special."
What may be his last chance with the Browns starts this week in practice.