Baker Mayfield was booed by his home crowd and skipped out on media availability following the Cleveland Browns 13-10 victory over the winless Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Mayfield has talked with the media after every game he’s played in during his career but declined after the victory, which was much too close than many would have liked considering the Lions are currently the worse team in football and were playing with a backup quarterback.
Browns insider Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com said that Mayfield was not interested in celebrating after the win.
Mayfield took his helmet off immediately after the game and handed it to the equipment person. He put on his Browns knit cap and walked off without celebrating the victory with any of his teammates or acknowledging any of the players on the opposing team.
Mayfield passed for 176 yards and a touchdown but also threw a pair of ugly interceptions. The former first-overall pick was visibly hobbled by the multiple injuries he’s playing through, with it even looking like at one point that backup Case Keenum would be coming in. However, Mayfield finished out the matchup, literally limping to the finish line. Mayfield is dealing with injuries to his shoulder, foot and knee.
“He’s toughing it out and he’s battling,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters after the win, which moved Cleveland to 6-5.
Baker Mayfield Needs Rest to Get Healthy
Browns fans have been pleading with the team to rest Mayfield, who is clearly not himself due to the injuries and needs some time off. The Browns have a pair of games coming up against the Ravens, with a bye in between. If Mayfield was to take next week off, he could get two weeks of rest and return to lead Cleveland on a stretch run.
If Mayfield is unable to go, the Browns would turn to Keenum for his second start this season. Keenum completed 21 of 33 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown against the Broncos earlier this season in a 17-14 victory.
The Browns are paying Keenum a hefty sum to backup Mayfield, which is bringing up a lot of questions as to why he’s not getting more run with Mayfield compromised by injuries.
“If an injured Baker Mayfield is your best option vs. a healthy Case Keenum, then why are we wasting $7 million on a backup quarterback?” Eddie Kilroy of FOX 8 Cleveland tweeted.
Browns receiver Jarvis Landry seemed to hint earlier in the week that Mayfield’s injury is making things harder on the team’s pass-catchers.
“He’s a tough man, and he’s doing all the things necessary to make sure that he can be out there with us,” Landry said. “As playmakers, when the ball’s in the air, we’re doing our best and understanding and knowing that it’s the situation where he’s got to get healthy, but we’re still out here making plays with each other, for each other, and he always gives his best. That’s all you can ask for.”
Baker Mayfield Battling for Contract Extension With Browns
A reason Mayfield is unwilling to take a seat is because of his contract situation. The Browns exercised his fifth-year option this offseason but he’s still in search of a long-term deal that would keep him in Cleveland for the foreseeable future. If Mayfield sits and Keenum excels, it could be bad news for the former Heisman winner.
When it comes to an extension, Mayfield has said he’s all about winning and the rest will take care of itself. However, the Browns are 6-5 and need a strong finish to make the postseason.
“I’m worried about winning. The rest will take care of itself,” Mayfield told reporters during camp. “I don’t have a timeline on it.”
We’ll see what happens with Mayfield this week and if he gets the call to start against the Ravens.