BEREA, Ohio — The Cleveland Browns are beginning to prepare for their matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but they’re doing so without their starting quarterback, who was held out of practice Monday.
Baker Mayfield did not practice Monday, but head coach Kevin Stefanski said they'll continue to monitor him throughout the week.
"He did not practice today," Stefanski said. "With all of these guys, we'll see. I want to see how they respond from today. We'll put that injury report out Wednesday, and we'll know more as we get into the week.”
Mayfield was sidelined Thursday against the Denver Broncos with a left shoulder injury he sustained in Week 2 and made worse in Week 6.
Mayfield initially injured his non-throwing shoulder on Sept. 19 as the Browns took on the Houston Texans. Mayfield was attempting to throw to rookie wide receiver Anthony Schwartz, who appeared to stop his route prematurely, allowing the Texans to intercept the ball.
While trying to make a tackle, Mayfield appeared to injure his shoulder and was down on the field before trainers ran out to evaluate him. Mayfield headed into the medical tent and then went back to the locker room. But shortly after, Mayfield ran back from the locker room to the sideline, putting his helmet on and prepping to go back into the game.
Mayfield described the injury as his shoulder having “popped in and out."
The injury was exacerbated against the Arizona Cardinals when he was sacked by defensive end J.J. Watt. Mayfield eventually got up and walked off the field under his own power and entered the medical tent on the sideline. After leaving and heading back in multiple times, Mayfield put on his helmet and returned to the game.
After the game, Mayfield came out to the press conference wearing a sling and said his left shoulder dislocated on the hit and then later popped in and out on a non-contact play later in the game after he returned to the field.
The Browns monitored Mayfield and observed him as a limited participant in a practice session before ruling him out against the Broncos and announcing backup quarterback Case Keenum would get the start.
Then, on Thursday, a report came out from NFL Fox's Jay Glazer that Mayfield is dealing with a fractured humerus bone in addition to the torn labrum in his left shoulder.
After Thursday's game, head coach Kevin Stefanski was asked about the report and while he declined to get into the specifics of Mayfield’s injury said that it would not change the trajectory for his return to the field—even giving him a chance to play against the Steelers.
“Of course there is a chance for all of it, but it is too far away to give you a good number,” Stefanski said. “He is another guy who is fighting, and he will be back out there as soon as he can.”
The Browns continue to monitor Mayfield through his shoulder injury as the days go on, checking in with medical staff and personnel to guide decisions heading into the game against the Steelers.
"I'm listening to all of the people that have the degrees, and we will go with what they tell us," Stefanski said. "I think we just have to work through all of it, and the quarterback position really is no different than any of these other positions where guys’ availability, you might not know Wednesday and you might not know Friday.”
It remains to be seen if Mayfield returns to practice on Wednesday, but the good news is that Stefanski said he thinks Mayfield is feeling better this week than he was last week.
And if for some reason Mayfield isn't able to play on Sunday, the team is confident in Case Keenum as the backup, crediting him for keeping the offense going and stepping up to Mayfield's level of production with him sidelined.
"We didn’t feel any drop-off. Case is a veteran guy, he’s probably played in more games than I have my whole career. So there’s no drop-off, everything felt very smooth, ran the offense smooth," left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. said of Keenum.
Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.
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