Ryan Griffin on finally playing in an NFL game: “It was cool”

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Ryan Griffin has been in the NFL for nearly seven years. Now, he’s finally in a box score.

The Buccaneers backup quarterback played his first snap, threw his first pass, statistically appeared for the first time last week thanks to Jameis Winston‘s thumb injury.

Whether he plays again or not, he can now point to something tangible to prove he was there.

It was cool,’’ Griffin said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “It felt normal. It felt like it’s always felt. No big deal.’’

The 30-year-old Griffin’s normal previously hadn’t included actually playing, after spending two years with the Saints and the last four with the Bucs. During that time, he only played in the preseason, generally inactive on game days.

Yesterday, he took all the first-team reps in practice because Winston didn’t throw or grip a football in practice, and that gave the Bucs a chance to talk about how confident they are in Griffin.

“It was the same thing I see from him every day: He’s poised, he’s accurate,’’ Bucs coach Bruce Arians said. ”He knows what he’s doing with the ball. He gets it out of his hand quick.

“Like he’s never missed a beat. Like he’s been a starter all year. That’s just him. He’s a bright guy, he’s extremely accurate. It was a very fast tempo practice. We really didn’t miss anything. . . .

“We have all the confidence in the world. Now, that’s over with. Put the picture on the wall. You’re out there. You got to play.’’

And even if Winston returns this week, and even if Griffin never steps on another field, he has something to point to to prove he was once an NFL quarterback.