CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is bruised and battered and won't practice Wednesday, but is still fighting to play Sunday as the team prepares to take on the Detroit Lions.
"Pretty sore. It’s just that time of the year. One day at a time at this point, but I’ll be good," Mayfield said.
Mayfield said before practice that he wasn't sure if he'd participate Wednesday as he looks to rest up as much as possible and heal up before Sunday.
"I don't know yet. Go inside, gather the troops and talk about, but we'll see. Just had a walkthrough. Wednesdays are a lot of mental stuff considering how guys are banged up now anyway. Get all that done and see what I can do. There's no reason to make things worse if I don't need to," Mayfield said.
The quarterback has had a slew of injuries this season, starting with a torn labrum in his left, non-throwing shoulder that escalated to a fractured humerus bone on top of that.
Mayfield strapped up in a brace and aside from missing one game, has pushed through the pain and discomfort.
He's also been dealing with a left foot injury and a knee injury. He taped up his foot and shook off the knee soreness and continued playing.
"On the field, Dr. [James] Voos checked it out, nothing structural, had the X-ray after the game like I told you guys, nothing structural with the bones or anything like that," Mayfield said. "Caught the nerve on the outside of my leg, made it go numb, so the outside of my knee is sore and tender but that numbness where you can't feel your leg is pretty scary. Hadn't had that before."
But midway through the season, those injuries are piling up.
“This is probably the most beat up I’ve ever been in my career, and it’s not like it’s one particular thing, it’s multiple," Mayfield said.
The injuries may have made their presence known throughout some games this season, but Mayfield said that's no excuse for any bad performances and that he's got to adapt and play through it.
"There’s definitely a couple plays where I look back and say I should have used my feet here and there, but you have to adapt. Nobody is going to feel bad for you. It’s not an excuse. You just have to find a way to make a play," Mayfield said.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski said that they're taking Mayfield's injuries day-by-day but that he's "confident" he will be good to play Sunday.
The Browns are coming off a tough blowout loss to the New England Patriots that saw both the offense and defense drop the ball. But the offensive struggles are something that Mayfield isn't shying away from and said they're working to fix the issues, especially in the passing game.
"I think there’s a lot of factors, but we’re working on it and doing whatever it takes to get it fixed," Mayfield said.
On Tuesday, wide receiver Jarvis Landry was asked about his knee injury and his production on the offense, to which he said he wasn't getting the ball often, and he wasn't sure why, but that he's just looking to give everything he's got when those opportunities do come.
"I mean, I haven't been getting the ball so much, either. But at the end of the day, I've been able to do with the opportunities I'm given. Yeah, I'm battling some things, but on Sunday, I always give everything that I have, and that won't ever change," Landry said.
Mayfield addressed Landry's comments Wednesday and said he knows that those opportunities are coming to Landry and receiver Rashard Higgins soon, without the need to force anything offensively.
"We'll find ways to get Jarvis involved back in the gameplan, there's no doubt about that, he's a tempo-setter for us, he's an extremely good leader and locker room guy for us, everybody knows that. When it comes to Higgy, just going through my reads and putting the ball in a position where he can catch it and make plays when it's necessary, but not trying to force it and overdo it," Mayfield said. "Like I said, we'll find ways to get the ball in 80's hands and get going again."
Mayfield may be missing practice Wednesday but is still planning to start on Sunday against the Detroit Lions.
Meanwhile, other Browns players are also missing practice Wednesday.
#Browns players not practicing today:— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) November 17, 2021
Myles Garrett (personal)
A.J. Green (concussion)
Troy Hill (neck)
Malik Jackson (knee)
Jarvis Landry (knee)
Baker Mayfield (shoulder, knee, foot)
Anthony Schwartz (concussion)
Running back Kareem Hunt will not return this week as he remains on the injured reserve with a calf injury. Nick Chubb and Demetric Felton are continuing to be monitored as they wait to come off the Reserve/COVID-19 list, Stefanski said Wednesday.
Rookie cornerback Greg Newsome II said before practice that these sessions throughout the week will be crucial in turning the Browns production on both sides of the ball around.
"We’ve got to work as hard as we can at practice and we’ve got to treat every rep like it’s a game rep so when we get out there on the field that we’re ready to go. That’s how it is at the end of the day and we’ve just got to preach to each other that ‘let’s all play for each other, everybody do their jobs,’ and when we all do our jobs we’ll definitely win," Newsome said.
As the week goes on many of the players sidelined should be available after a bit of rest, but in their absence, the guys who are participating will aim to step things up and work towards bouncing back from a very tough loss.
Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.
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