Robert Griffin III Reportedly to Be Ravens' Backup QB Ahead of Lamar Jackson

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2018

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 25: Lamar Jackson #8 and Robert Griffin III #3 of the Baltimore Ravens warm up in front of head coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens before a preseason game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on August 25, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Mark Brown/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens will head into the 2018 season with Robert Griffin III as the backup quarterback behind Joe Flacco, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Sunday.

Lamar Jackson, whom the Ravens traded up to select with the 32nd pick of the 2018 draft, will be the third quarterback on the depth chart.

Griffin enjoyed a more efficient preseason compared to Jackson. He finished 27-of-41 for 243 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, while Jackson was 34-of-68 for 408 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

Earlier in the preseason, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh spoke highly of Griffin's contributions and value to the team.

"There's no question that the best quarterback thing to do would be to keep Robert Griffin," Harbaugh said a day before Baltimore's 27-10 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Aug. 25, per's Jamison Hensley. "He's proven it. He's played exceptionally well, and it makes the team better."

To some extent, there's little distinction between second and third in the Ravens' QB depth chart. Flacco has only missed six starts since joining the team in 2008, and all of those absences were the result of a torn ACL in 2015.

Flacco is Baltimore's unquestioned starter in 2018, so Jackson's playing time—barring an injury to Flacco—is basically going to be the same whether he's ahead of or below Griffin.

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If Harbaugh had to replace an injured Flacco, then going with the more experienced Griffin makes sense for a team with playoff aspirations. Jackson's preseason numbers highlight how he's likely going to need a year or two to get his feet wet in the NFL before he's ready to be Flacco's long-term successor.