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Robert Griffin III 'on pace' to return, 'premature' to tell if he can play this season

Robert Griffin III never lost hope.

After breaking a bone in his shoulder in the season opener, the Browns quarterback has spent the past two-plus months working with the team's medical and training staffs in hopes of returning to the field sooner than later.

"Hope dies last. Hope always dies last, so even when it looks grim, you've got to go out and continue to do your part and continue to let the rest take care of itself," said Griffin, who met with reporters Monday afternoon. "Hope was always there. It will always be there."

That approach looks like it might pay off as Griffin, who was placed on injured reserve after a Week 1 loss to the Eagles, finds himself on the mend.

Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said Griffin is "on pace" to come back this year, though it's unclear what role he might have if he's indeed healthy.

Head coach Hue Jackson echoed that sentiment, saying "I think he's getting closer" but won't be able to "make a plan for him" until he's cleared to practice.

"I think today would be premature to make that decision," he said. "But once he can get back out there and start practicing, then I think there is a window of time in there before we have to do anything. So once we can get him out there, we will go further and know more."

Griffin, who battled through various injuries with the Redskins, joined the Browns this past spring after four seasons in Washington.

"His durability has been something that's followed him and unfortunately reared its head again as well for him," Brown said of Griffin's injury against the Eagles. "And we were all disappointed. He worked his tail off to understand the offense and position himself to start for us and gets hurt after a few quarters of play. He's got the opportunity to come back and try and compete to earn his job back. That won't be necessarily given to him, that'll be a Hue decision."

In his place, rookie quarterback Cody Kessler has shown promise in seven starts, completing 67 percent of his passes for 1,241 yards, six touchdowns and an interception.

Griffin was named the team's starter in training camp.

"You've just got to focus on what you can control and really these guys, seeing how hard they work every day, day in and day out, even though the record doesn't reflect that, I know the city's disappointed and these guys in this locker room are disappointed as well,'' Griffin said. "But we've got six games left this year, a chance to finish strong, and if I get a chance to be a part of that, I definitely want to.''

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