Robert Griffin III took another step toward playing this season.
The Browns quarterback returned to practice Wednesday as the team designated him for return from injured reserve.
"You always appreciate things when they're taken away from you so I thought I enjoyed practice and I've always loved being out there with my teammates and getting better before I was hurt," he said in the locker room, "and now that I get a chance to get back out there, I just continue to appreciate it more and more."
Griffin, who hasn't played since breaking a bone in his shoulder in the season opener, was cleared for non-contact activity last week. The Browns now have 21 days to activate Griffin or he must remain on the injured reserve list for the remainder of the season.
Until then, Griffin will have to clear what head coach Hue Jackson described as "another hurdle" before the team can determine whether or not he'll play this season.
"We're all on the same timetable, it's just about making sure I'm healthy — not healthy enough, not almost there — just healthy to go out there and play and help this team win a game," Griffin said. "I'm on the same page as coach, (executive vice president of football operations) Sashi (Brown), the doctors, the trainers."
Jackson said Griffin will have to undergo a test of sorts in the near future to make sure he's healthy enough for contact activities. "I can't tell you when it's going to be but it's just going to be a matter of if my bone's healed or not," Griffin said. "There's nothing I can really control, just don't do anything stupid and go out and practice, do what they ask me to do and let god take care of the rest."
Griffin flashed a wide smile when asked about rejoining his teammates on the practice field, and it's a sentiment that seems to go both ways.
"It's good to have him back obviously he brings a fun presence and it's always fun to watch him," said Josh McCown, who will start at quarterback against the Giants this weekend with Cody Kessler in the concussion protocol.
"He's excited to be back out there with the guys," wide receiver Corey Coleman added, "and he's been working off the field, plays and stuff, and now he's ready to put it all back together.
"He's always a high energy guy, any teammate it's always good to get guys back out there from injury, you love that seeing that stuff. Just happy to have him out there," Terrelle Pryor Sr. said.
And while it's unclear whether or not Griffin will play this season, that dynamic seemed far from his mind.
"I'm just the happiest guy in the building today," he said. "There'll be a lot of guys happy tomorrow because it's Thanksgiving but today I think I'm the happiest guy."