Browns’ Mayfield practicing, hopes to play against Steelers

NFL Dallas

BEREA, Ohio (AP)One game on the sideline was too much for Baker Mayfield. The Browns’ starting quarterback has no plans to repeat it.

Mayfield will practice Wednesday to test his injured left shoulder, and if all goes well, he intends to play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

”I think similar to last week, see what I can do and take it day by day,” Mayfield said following the team’s pre-practice walk-through.

He was asked if it’s possible he’ll play on Halloween against the Browns’ dreaded rival.

”Absolutely,” he said.

Mayfield had to sit out last Thursday’s victory – snapping his streak of 53 consecutive starts – over the Denver Broncos with a torn labrum and broken bone in his non-throwing shoulder. He said after getting the rest ”there was a noticeable difference in range of motion and strength.”

If his shoulder doesn’t respond the way he hopes, Mayfield said he won’t jeopardize his health or the Browns’ chances.

”If it’s a situation where I would hurt the team if I was out there playing, I’m not going to do it,” he said.

Barring him injuring the shoulder worse, Mayfield’s certain he can continue to play the remainder of this season.

”I’m completely confident in that,” he said. ”If you go out there, you’re scared, you’re timid, that’s how you really get hurt seriously, so I can’t do that. So like I said, trying to get the strength back and be able to go as close to 100% as possible, and if that’s not the case, then we trust the guys we have out there.”

The 26-year-old initially injured his shoulder while attempting to make a tackle on Sept. 19 against Houston and then made it worse when he got tripped up by J.J. Watt and bent his arm back during a fall on Oct. 17 in a loss to Arizona, fracturing his humerus bone.

Mayfield was on track to play last week, but swelling in his shoulder affected his mobility. Backup Case Keenum made his first start since 2019 and guided the Browns (4-3) to a 17-14 win.

Going forward, Mayfield said it will be paramount for him to protect himself when he runs.

”And slide when I need to,” he said.

Mayfield said it’s not a foregone conclusion that he’ll need offseason surgery for the complete tear in his labrum.

Along with Mayfield, the Browns were missing several other key players last week. Star running back Nick Chubb and starting right tackle Jack Conklin also sat out.

Mayfield said the view from the bench had some perks.

”It’s not tough when you’re winning,” he said. ”It’s pretty fun to watch these guys play and play for each other. I think the way those guys fought, it was a good team win. That’s what it’s about.

”It’s finding ways to win no matter what it is, especially on a short week with limited guys. Just plug and play guys and just to watch them succeed.”

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