After losing in the season opener, then going on a three-game winning streak, the Cleveland Browns have now dropped two in a row to fall to 3-3 on the season. And their quarterback, Baker Mayfield, is dealing with an injury that isn’t going to get much better anytime this season.
Mayfield confirmed that he suffered a “completely torn” labrum in his right shoulder during the season opener when he attempted to make a tackle after throwing an interception; he mentioned “other stuff that was frayed within it” as well.
The fourth-year quarterback re-aggravated the labrum injury during Sunday’s loss to the undefeated Arizona Cardinals, but there are no plans for him to sit; in fact, the Browns play tomorrow night, and Mayfield has every intention of being out there.
“Only I know how my body feels. If anyone questions whether I’m hindering the team and going out there injured, that’s just not right”, he insisted. “It’s my decision. I get to say whether I’m able to play or not, and that’s just how it is”.
So far in 2021, Mayfield has completed 116 of 173 pass attempts (67.1%) for 1474 yards; though he has only thrown six touchdown passes so far, he has also thrown only three interceptions. But he has also taken 18 sacks already. And he’s not going to have a ton of help.
Running back Kareem Hunt suffered an injury serious enough to be put on the Reserve/Injured List during Sunday’s game. Nick Chubb will be back from his own injury sooner, but head coach Kevin Stefanski already ruled him out for tomorrow’s game.
But he could be getting wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. back, which would certainly be a big deal. Still, the way it’s setting up, the offense is going to be put on Mayfield’s shoulders, which happen to be worse for the wear at the moment. He has been the beneficiary of a very good running game since he first came into the league.
On top of everything else, the Browns are also missing both of their starting tackles. Left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. is dealing with an ankle injury, while right tackle Jack Conklin suffered a knee injury. Neither of them have practiced this week.
The Browns will be hosting the Denver Broncos tomorrow night, with both teams looking to end a slide. The Broncos have lost three straight, including one game to the Steelers, after winning their first three games, so something has got to give. The Broncos are the much healthier team, though.