Shaquem Griffin, Seahawks’ one-handed rookie starter, inspires Dolphins


The Miami Dolphins linebackers were talking about Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin in the locker room on Thursday.

Specifically, they were talking about how remarkable Griffin is.

The Seahawks announced this week that Griffin, a rookie linebacker from UCF who plays without a left hand, will start on Sunday.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for him,” Dolphins linebacker Stephone Anthony said. “I hope he goes out and kills it. There is no limit on what you can do no matter what somebody thinks you can do. What somebody tries to put on you. The kid has been faced with adversity his all life and all he does is respond. I love that.”

Dolphins rookie linebacker Jerome Baker said he got to know Griffin at the NFL scouting combine.

“With his personality, you would never have thought anything was wrong,” Baker said. “This rookie class has some great linebackers. You know, it’s all how you look at life, glass half full or half empty. He knows he only has one hand so he works ways to get around it. He turned it all into a positive.”

Linebacker Chase Allen said he could not imagine what it would be like to try to play the position in the NFL with one hand.

“But I feel like as a rookie and getting that first start, kind of like I did last year, you’re just getting your mind right,” Allen said. “Being able to prepare. Obviously he’s done it well enough to this point. So there’s no reason why he can’t do it on Sunday.”

The Dolphins have a practice squad defensive tackle who knows about Griffin all too well. Jamiyus Pittman played with Griffin at UCF last season.

“I’m not surprised at all,” Pittman said. “I knew he was going to come in and be who he is. Work hard every day. Pay attention. And make other people around him better. That’s what he did at UCF. I’m pretty sure that’s just who he is.”

Pittman said at one point last season he said to Griffin, “Bro, you amaze me.” Added Pittman:  “Once a coach believed in him, he just took it and ran with it. And he got all of us to believe in us.”

Anthony turned to another Dolphins linebacker on Thursday and marveled further. “Imagine that?” he said. “Starter. Starter in the NFL.”

Added Anthony: “I’m not going to put any limitations on him. High school. College. He’s gotten this far. He’s figured out how to cope with it. On Sunday, I think it’s just speed of the game for him. I don’t think it’s any different if he’s got one hand or two hands.”

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