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Robert Griffin III is ready to start, his coach isn’t quite there yet

Robert Griffin III took a little practice Sunday before the Browns’ game against the Giants in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

If you listen to Robert Griffin III, it sounds as if he is prepared to start Sunday for the Cleveland Browns. At this point, with the team still looking for its first win this season with only four games remaining, what do the Browns have to lose if he’s healthy enough to play?

“It’s just an opportunity to play in the NFL with a group of guys who don’t deserve to be 0-12,” said Griffin, who hasn’t played since fracturing the coracoid bone in his throwing shoulder in the season opener (via “So 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’s what we’ve been working for in this last quarter of the season. I think it’s real important.”

The first step for the Browns would be to activate RGIII, moving him from the injured reserve list (designated to return) to the 53-player roster this week. Coach Hue Jackson wasn’t going there Monday after the team held its first practice after its bye week.

“It’s too soon,” said Jackson. “I’ll let you know that. We were out there for an hour so we were just knocking off the rust from being gone. We have to get game preparations this week, and I’ll know more then.”

When last the Browns were seen in an NFL game, a 27-13 loss to the New York Giants on Nov. 27, Josh McCown was the quarterback. The Browns have had terrible luck at quarterback this season, with five QBs taking snaps. That would seem to point to RGIII as the starter at least for the next game. He professed not to know what will happen.

“I don’t know, Coach could wait until Sunday” he said. “That’s why he’s got the HC on his hat and we all trust him in this locker room. I trust him, and 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. So whatever their decision is, I’ll be okay 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.”

Thieves target RGIII’s car

It’s been a tough season for RGIII off the field, too. He’s going through a divorce and thieves recently broke into his car while it was parked in the players’ lot during a game. They made away with cash belonging to RGIII and his girlfriend, Grete Šadeiko. Starting again, whether it’s Sunday or later in what’s left of the season, would give RGIII yet another chance at a fresh start. This time, he promises to be more careful and — stop me if you’ve heard this before — slide rather than taking the kind of hits that resulted in his latest injury.

“I just have to play smart, protect myself just like I was trying to do in Week 1 and just make sure that that doesn’t happen again,” he said. He earns points for heading to the sideline at least. “It was a freak accident, so there’s nothing I can really do about that. All I can do moving forward is try to make sure I protect myself when I have the opportunities to and give my team the best chance to win.”