Baker Mayfield has been battling flu-like symptoms, but his illness will not keep him out of the Rose Bowl as Oklahoma takes on Georgia. Mayfield did not talk extensively about his sickness, but called whatever he is battling “flu-like”.
“I’m not dying,” Mayfield told ESPN. “I’ll be playing, and we are focused on our goal…Something going around, flu-like. My mom was pretty worried to send me out here like that.”
Despite not feeling like his normal self, Mayfield went to media day to try to prevent his teammates from being asked multiple times about his health. Mayfield elaborated to ESPN on why he showed up to media day.
My teammates don’t need to answer questions on my behalf. This whole thing is not about me. Oklahoma is here to play a playoff game. We are here to win a game, and that is what it needs to be about.
Despite his illness, Mayfield’s troll game was still on point. Oklahoma News 4 found Mayfield carrying a “pretenders” sign around with him, a reference to ESPN’s Lee Corso calling the team “pretenders” earlier in the season.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart does not expect the Sooners to be diminished because of Mayfield’s sickness.
“I mean, we’ve got guys sick, too,” Smart told ESPN. “It’s just not as big a deal because they didn’t win the Heisman. To be honest with you, I didn’t even really know what was going on other than the last two days everybody has made a big deal about it. It hasn’t been a big deal for us.”
Because Mayfield is likely NFL-bound, scouts can’t resist any opportunity to point to any potential weaknesses. And for some, Mayfield’s absence is a signal that his immune system isn’t NFL-ready:
Mayfield hasn’t officially declared for the draft yet, but he’ll be a hot commodity when he does. In his last two seasons at Oklahoma, Mayfield has totaled 81 touchdowns to only 13 interceptions, all while completing over 70 percent of his passes. The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner doesn’t have the ideal measurements for an NFL QB, but Mayfield has shown two things throughout his college career: that he can make all the throws, and that he relishes in sticking to people that doubted him. That would make it a bad time to be a cold-weather scout.
If Mayfield enters the draft this year, experts are divided on his landing spot. SB Nation has Mayfield selected in the top ten and so does CBSSports, who have Mayfield going to the Bengals with the ninth pick. Bleacher Report has Mayfield going later but still early, as their latest mock shows Washington taking him with the 15th pick.
Washington? Cincinnati? Don’t those draft analysts know how cold it is in those cities?! Some experts.
Oklahoma takes on Georgia, in what could be Mayfield’s final college game, Monday night in the Rose Bowl. The Sooners are a slight favorite.
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