Baker Mayfield’s wildly inaccurate and inefficient showing against the Minnesota Vikings left many wondering if the Cleveland Browns quarterback was dealing with the effects of a shoulder injury he suffered earlier in the season.
According to Cleveland.com Browns insider Mary Kay Cabot, Mayfield’s shoulder is “definitely not” an issue and did not affect his play against the Vikings. The report from Cabot goes hand-in-hand with what Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said earlier this week when asked if his quarterback’s shoulder was not healthy.
“I do not think so, based on what I see at practice,” Stefanski told reporters on Monday, October 6. “I do not think so.”
Mayfield finished the Week 4 contest against the Vikings 15-of-33 for 155 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
Kevin Stefanski Shoulders Blame For Rough Showing
Mayfield missed out on some key opportunities to make the Browns lead more comfortable against the Vikings, including a blatant miss of Odell Beckham Jr. in the fourth quarter.
“Well, you would like a completion,” Stefanski said on Monday, October 4. “Listen, there are going to be plays that we hit, and there are going to be plays that we miss. When we talked through it, a bit of a miscommunication, and it is unfortunate because of the moment of that, but that is why we work. That is why we spend a lot of time in these meeting rooms and spend a lot of time on these fields. We have to get it right, and we will.”
That being said, Stefanski did shoulder a lot of the blame for Mayfield’s rough day.
“We got to get better, I have to get better. And that’s just the truth,” Stefanski said. “We just got to get better in some of these areas and I think we will.”
That’s not to say Mayfield was hiding from any blame, because in fact, that was the last thing he was doing.
“I need to do a good job of taking advantage of my opportunities and staying on track. I pride myself on being extremely accurate. And today, I don’t know what the hell that was,” Mayfield said after the win. “I have to pick it up because if I think that piss-poor performance is going to cut it, it’s not.”
Analyst: Baker Mayfield Struggling With OBJ in Lineup
Mayfield got one of his main weapons in the passing game back in Beckham, but it has yet to produce big results for the offense. ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky shared with Cleveland.com that he thinks his presence could be having an effect on Mayfield’s approach.
“In the first game, I actually kind of liked what they did a little bit,” Orlovsky told Cabot. “The back-shoulder go-ball the third down earlier in the game. But this second game back, there was three or four plays where I was ‘dude, get off of him. He’s not open. Get off of him.’ But then there were two different plays where he’s open and he doesn’t look at him.
“If I’m in the room with him, I’ve got to have a real conversation with him, about ‘hey, bud, we’ve got to nip this real fast,’” Orlovsky said. “I don’t want to blow this out to be a huge deal. But I didn’t like what I saw with it.”
Beckham and Mayfield will look to get it right this week as the Browns head to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers this week.