There was a time when Robert Griffin III wasn't sure if he'd take another snap this season. His debut as the Browns quarterback ended with a broken bone in his left shoulder and he was placed on injured reserve shortly thereafter.
"I was told I wasn't really going to have this chance to come back and play this year," Griffin said Monday.
But the odds gave way to "the best-case scenario" when Griffin was cleared to play last week.
"It's a blessing and you just try to take care of the little things day by day so you can get back out there," he said. "It is all falling the right way for me. I am thankful for my teammates for helping get through this time of not playing, but now, I get the chance to go back out there and have fun with them."
To be sure, head coach Hue Jackson said it's "too soon" to determine whether Griffin will start against the Bengals this weekend.
"We were just knocking off the rust from being gone," he said after the team's first post-bye week practice. "We have to get game preparations this week, and I will know more then."
In any case, Griffin's preparing as if he'll have to face a physical and star-filled Cincinnati defense that includes defensive linemen in Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap, linebacker Vontaze Burfict and cornerback Adam Jones.
'You just come in every day and try to prove yourself and try and show coach and your team that you are the guy and that you are ready to go," he said. "I don't really focus on that. I just try to come in every day and do what I tell the rookies to do, and that's seize every one of them."
If Griffin were to return to the starting lineup, he'd take over an offense that's struggled in recent weeks and averages 16.4 points and 314 yards per game.
"It is just an opportunity to get to play in the NFL with a group of guys that do not deserve to be 0-12," he said. "I just want to come in, give the team as much of a spark as I possibly can, have fun and hopefully, we can go 4-0 because that is what we have been working for in this last quarter of the season."
Asked when he expected Jackson to unveil his decision, Griffin cracked a smile.
"Gosh, I don't know," he said. "Coach could wait until Sunday. I don't know. That's why he has the 'HC' on his hat, and we all trust him in this locker room. I trust him. It's just a matter of do they feel I'm ready to play or do they feel like I need to take some more time.
"Whatever their decision is, I will be OK with it because I'm here to be a Cleveland Brown, I'm here to help this team not just these last four weeks but into the future — at least that's my hope and my wish — so I just want to have an opportunity to go out there and put it on the line for my team."