BEREA, Ohio — Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield wants to get back on the field after snapping his streak of 51 straight starts as he managed his shoulder injury—and he's doing everything he can to make that happen.
Mayfield returned to practice on Wednesday after being sidelined with injury. It was a session that offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said went well.
"He practiced yesterday a good amount and looked good,” Van Pelt said.
Mayfield was sidelined Thursday against the Denver Broncos with a left shoulder injury he sustained in Week 2 against the Houston Texans and made worse in Week 6 against the Arizona Cardinals.
The initial diagnosis was a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder, but over the weeks it was learned Mayfield fully tore his labrum in his left shoulder and also fractured the humerus bone in in his left shoulder when the shoulder dislocated.
Before Wednesday's practice session, Mayfield said that his shoulder was feeling better and he's been working on making sure the injury heals and doesn't get worse while still fighting to return to the field by Sunday.
“It definitely did, a noticeable difference in range of motion and strength. So like I said, take it day by day and see where we’re at," Mayfield said. "I mean, yeah, I’m not exactly a doctor, I don’t know how long it takes for those things to heal, but it was mostly about the inflammation so I can get the range of motion and that strength back. That’s where we’re at and that’s where we’re continuing to evaluate.”
Van Pelt said that Mayfield would practice but that the determination on his return won't be made until later this week.
“I think he'll go today for sure and then we'll determine later in the week how he's feeling. Obviously, it's up to the doctors and the medical staff to determine whether he's ready to go or not,” Van Pelt said.
In Thursday's practice session, Mayfield was the only player in pads, seemingly to get a better understanding of how his body feels in them as they gather as much information on his injury to decide if he'll be able to play against the Steelers.
#Browns Baker Mayfield is working in pads today. They started the session dressing him in his gear and getting his shoulder harness right before he went out to test his readiness for his second straight day of practice. pic.twitter.com/hhVmllHJBd— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) October 28, 2021
While Mayfield is getting the majority of starting reps at practice, the team is still keeping backup quarterback Case Keenum on hold in case Mayfield is unable to start in his second straight game.
“Case gets more than he normally does. We don't split the reps. But all backups are ready to go with no reps and that's kind of the job of the backup. He'll be ready to go regardless of how many reps he takes," Van Pelt said.
Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.
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