During a Saturday night of watching TV, Ravens backup quarterback Robert Griffin III was understandably stunned to see news of Andrew Luck's retirement. Griffin was taken No. 2 overall in the 2012 draft by the Washington Redskins. Luck went No. 1 in that draft to the Indianapolis Colts.
That draft ensured Luck and Griffin would be linked in NFL history. Luck's retirement at age 29 was the biggest sports story of the weekend and not what Griffin expected. But he also understood Luck's emotions.
"I was shocked to see Andrew retire," Griffin said following Sunday's practice. "Turn on the TV, you see it all over the place.
"You're tired of being injured, tired of being hurt, tired of having to go through that process. I can completely understand where he's coming from. I decided to keep pushing forward, but Andrew made the decision to retire. There's a lot of guys in all the locker rooms around the league that have had to deal with a lot of pain. Some of them have contemplated retirement. So I think the guys respect his decision, to go out on his own terms in his own way, and have the courage to do that especially in today's society."
Griffin tweeted a message to Luck on Saturday night.
Their connection goes way back. Both played high school football in Texas. Both were recruited to Stanford by former Cardinal Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, the brother of Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh. Luck chose Stanford, while Griffin went to Baylor and won the 2011 Heisman Trophy, besting Luck who was a finalist for the award.
While Luck's decision has received wide support from many NFL players, some people reacted negatively. He was booed by some fans in Indianapolis as he walked off the field following Saturday night’s Colts – Chicago Bears game.
Griffin thinks fans who booed Luck need a do-over.
"I think all those fans who booed would probably say that wasn't their proudest moment," Griffin said. "As players we get signed to these teams and we give our all for those teams…If you get that feeling from them, it makes it feel like they don't appreciate what you've done and what you sacrificed to put that helmet on every single day. He's done a lot for that city and that organization. I think they should rethink that and hopefully they have."
Ravens Sign Former Bears Kicker to 90-Man Roster
The Ravens have signed kicker Elliott Fry, who was released by the Chicago Bears earlier this month. Fry may see action in Thursday's preseason finale against the Washington Redskins. Ravens kicker Justin Tucker, the most accurate placekicker in NFL history is expected to get Thursday night off, along with punter Sam Koch. The Ravens also have punter Cameron Nizialek on the roster.
"We really wanted to bring a guy in to kick for us on Thursday night," Special Teams Coach Chris Horton said. "We prefer not to have to play Justin and Sam. Elliott was the best candidate out there. He was in the AAF. I think he was 14-for-14 on field goals. He's a good, young talent, another guy for us to put our eyes on."
Five Players Return to Practice Sunday
Back on the practice field Sunday after missing Saturday's session were offensive linemen Jermaine Eluemunor and Greg Senat; cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Maurice Canady and safety Earl Thomas. Not practicing Sunday were wide receiver Marquise Brown, offensive lineman Randin Crecilius, linebackers Jaylon Ferguson and Tim Williams; cornerbacks Jimmy Smith, Tavon Young and Iman Marshall; and defensive tackle Gerald Willis.