Baker Mayfield expects to be on the field for the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night against the Denver Broncos, and if he is, that’s purely his decision.
Mayfield met with the media on Tuesday and revealed he completely tore his labrum in Week 2 and has been just trying to stabilize the muscles around it since.
“It’s actually completely torn,” Mayfield told reporters. “There’s some other stuff that’s frayed within it. It’s just one of those things … with shoulder injuries like that you try to stabilize it. Strengthen the muscles and ligaments around it to where you feel that stability and didn’t have the likelihood of popping out as much nearly as much. So that’s where I’m at right now. Luckily I’ve had a great guy working with me to be able to do those things.
After taking a hit against the Cardinals, Mayfield admitted his shoulder feels “different” but is still preparing to play against the Broncos.
“On a fall like the game Sunday, anybody’s shoulder probably would of popped out from how I felt. So it was kind of a freak deal,” Mayfield said. “Today is better than yesterday, that’s for sure. Just back to the basics, trying to get the inflammation down and see where it goes.”
Mayfield Says Decision is All His to Play
When it comes to his status, Mayfield said it’s entirely on him whether he plays or not. The fourth-year quarterback received a second opinion on his shoulder after being assessed by the Browns medical team, per Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. That means he didn’t agree with the initial diagnosis, which likely would have sidelined him on Thursday.
“It’s my decision. I get to say whether I play or not, and that’s just how it is,” Mayfield said.
Mayfield accounted for three turnovers against the Cardinals — a pair of fumbles and an interception. Both he and the Browns have been clear that he doesn’t think the injured shoulder affects his throwing and the former No. 1 overall pick did toss a massive Hail Mary against the Cardinals at the end of the first half. It traveled 66.4 yards in the air, which was the longest completed pass since at least 2016, per Next Gen Stats.
Mayfield was adamant that he did not feel like he would be hurting the team by getting on the field.
“Obviously, if I was in a physical state where I wasn’t able to play to the best of my abilities and I was hurting the team,” he said. “I wouldn’t do that because I care about winning and I want to give this team the best position to do that, so I want to be out there.”
Mayfield Can’t Afford to Sit in Contract Year
Mayfield is still figuring out exactly the limits of what he can do with his banged-up shoulder. He didn’t know when he would be getting on the field for practice but reiterated that only he knows how his body feels.
“I think whenever we decide to give me some of these reps and throw the pads on and simulate these throws, these game throws. If I’m not able to do and be 100 percent, that’s where I’d be at,” Mayfield said. “I have to make that decision. Only I know how my body feels. And if anyone questions whether I’m hindering the team in going out there injured, that’s just not right. so it’s my decision, I get to say whether I’m able to play or not, and that’s just how it is.”
The determination to get on the field from Mayfield is more than likely driven by the fact that he’s trying to earn an extension and clinch a long-term future in Cleveland. If he were to sit and veteran backup Case Keenum led the Browns to a win, it could potentially cause some backlash for Mayfield, who has had an uneven start to the year. Mayfield has passed for 1,474 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions, garnering a QB rating of 97.8.