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Robert Griffin III plays through pain, 'wrong side of momentum' in 1st start

PHILADELPHIA -- Robert Griffin III wanted to finish what he started Sunday, as painful as it was.

The Browns quarterback was still reeling from a hard hit he took on the team's penultimate offensive series of the game when he trotted back onto the field to run out the clock on Cleveland's 29-10 loss to the Eagles. It was a non-ideal ending to a day in which the Cleveland offense struggled more than it thrived, but Griffin was adamant about taking the final snaps alongside teammates who voted him as one of their five captains just a few days earlier.

"It didn't matter what the score on the scoreboard was," Griffin said. "It was more about that moment and that desire to finish the battle with your teammates out there on the field."

Griffin suffered an injury to his left shoulder when he scrambled on a third down late in Sunday's fourth quarter. He said he was caught by surprise by Philadelphia's Jalen Mills, who emerged from a crowd of defenders as Griffin tried to get out of bounds and laid a hard hit on Cleveland's quarterback.

Griffin will undergo more tests Monday to determine the severity of the injury.

"Just have to monitor it and see how it goes," Griffin said. "I can move my left arm. I'm in pain, but it will be ok, just have to monitor it. We'll see more tomorrow and see how my shoulder is feeling and just move on from there."

The Browns play the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2016 season opener.

The highs and lows Griffin and the Browns offense experienced Sunday came in waves.

A first quarter that saw the Browns fail to collect a single first down was followed by a largely effective second quarter in which Cleveland used a big pass play to Terrelle Pryor to spur a touchdown drive and a nice mix of run and pass to threaten for another. A twice-deflected interception, though, put a halt to the possession and prevented the Browns from tying or taking the lead.

It was a throw Griffin wanted back.

"Can't turn the ball over in the scoring zone. We all know that," Browns coach Hue Jackson said. "So that reared its ugly head again. So again we have to take care of the ball."

Griffin got the Browns rolling early in the second half when he completed a 58-yard pass to rookie Corey Coleman. A few plays later, on a third down, he overthrew Andrew Hawkins for a potential touchdown, and the Browns were forced to a kick a field goal, making the score 13-10 Eagles.

"I left it long and it was all on me," Griffin said. "He ran a great route; I just have to hit him on that. That's an opportunity to give us a touchdown; seven points instead of three, and I have to make that play."

The next time Griffin was able to throw a pass, Cleveland trailed 22-10, the result of an errant Cameron Erving snap that sailed out of the end zone for a safety and a subsequent Eagles touchdown drive.

The Browns didn't pick up a first down on their next four possessions. Griffin's hard hit came at the end of that fourth, but he trotted back out for the final one of the game to hand the ball off three times, close out a disappointing start to the season and officially move on to next week's home opener against the Ravens.

"We had opportunities to win, and we were on the wrong side of the momentum," Griffin said. "We didn't do a good enough job; I didn't do a good enough job of helping us secure that momentum back. But it's a funny game when you get out there, and it's all about managing the situation, and I have to go a better job of that."

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