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Robert Griffin III calls NFL return an 'emotional day'

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All eyes were on Ravens rookie Lamar Jackson during Thursday night's Hall of Fame Game, but some of the finest work under center came from Robert Griffin III in Baltimore's 17-16 win over the Bears.

After sitting out all last season, the former first-round pick of the Redskins started for the Ravens and authored a 77-yard touchdown drive over eight plays capped by Griffin's 5-yard scoring strike to tight end Maxx Williams.

Griffin's 7of-11 evening for 58 yards included two dropped passes and a pick that -- ping-ponging off the hands of Breshad Perriman -- wasn't his fault.

Chalk it up as an unlikely, but promising return for a player many counted out.

"People don't understand that once you're out of the league for a year, it's really hard to get back in, especially if you're a quarterback and a high draft pick. It's just really hard to do," Griffin said, per ESPN's Jamison Hensley. "[Thursday] was an emotional day for me, just coming back out here. I know it's the preseason, it's the Hall of Fame game, but to have an opportunity to come back out here and play football is something that I really cherish."

After fizzling out with the Redskins, Griffin last toiled for the Browns in 2016, starting just five games and dealing with injuries -- a common subplot throughout his career.

He's no sure bet to make the Ravens with Joe Flacco entrenched as the starter and Jackson seen as the future, but Baltimore could choose to keep three passers around to start the year. Either way, Griffin's preseason -- off to a solid start -- has him just where he hoped to be: back in the NFL.

"You know, a lot of hard work went into it," Griffin said. "When you're out of football for a year, sometimes things come into question, and sometimes doubt can start to seep in, and luckily I had the right people around me, and that never happened, and I was about to continue to push through, and that's why I'm here today. I thank them a lot."

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