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Browns QB Baker Mayfield to play in final preseason game against Falcons

Other select starters will also play
Baker Mayfield
Posted at 1:17 PM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 13:17:05-04

BEREA, Ohio — After keeping him sidelined for the first two preseason matchups, head coach Kevin Stefanski announced Friday that quarterback Baker Mayfield will take the field in the final game before the regular season.

Mayfield, along with other "select starters," will play on Sunday against the Atalanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Stefanski wouldn't disclose the specifics of which other starters will play or how long Mayfield will be on the field.

"We have a plan but I want to see how it goes," Stefanski said.

Stefanski said there will be starters who don't play and those decisions will be based on the reps he and his coaches feel a player needs.

"There are other guys we are going to hold out, we're just making decisions individually based on who needs to get some reps. Making those decisions based on these practice reps, based on the joint practice reps, based on game reps so we'll hold some other guys out," Stefanski said.

The Browns kept a majority of their starters off the field through the first two games in an effort to conserve their players and maintain their health ahead of the regular season.

But with Sept. 12 right around the corner, playing Mayfield and other starters cannot only get them ready for the season but help show the coaching staff the abilities of other non-starters still working to make the 53-man roster. That benefit couldn't be overlooked amid the risk of injury, which exists in any football setting, Stefanski said.

"I think it's football. We try to be smart about everything we do, that's why I think the joint practices are so important because it's a controlled environment where our 1s got close to 60 reps versus their 1s in a controlled environment," Stefanski said. "The way you practice and then the way you play is similar and it's all good work is the way I look at it."

The final game could be a make-or-break for several fringe players, Stefanski said.

"I think it's been such a competitive camp for these roster spots and I'm so appreciative of the way the guys have worked. Those conversations are ongoing so I think this is all part of the evaluation process," Stefanski said. "I can't tell you exactly how many spots there are but I do think these game reps are really valuable in the overall evaluation.

The Browns kickoff their final preseason game Sunday at 8 p.m.

Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.

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BROWNS 2021 SCHEDULE

Preseason

WEEK 1 · W · Sat 8/14 · 7:00 PM at Jacksonville Jaguars (23-13)
WEEK 2 · W · Sun 8/22 · 1:00 PM vs. New York Giants (17-13)
WEEK 3 · W · Sun 8/29 · 8:00 PM at Atlanta Falcons (19-10)

Regular Season

WEEK 1 · L ·Sun 9/12 · 4:25 PM EST at Kansas City Chiefs (29-33)

WEEK 2 · W · Thu 9/19 · 1:00 PM EST Houston Texans (31-21)

WEEK 3 · Sun 9/26 · 1:00 PM EST Chicago Bears (FOX)

WEEK 4 · Sun 10/3 · 1:00 PM EST at Minnesota Vikings (CBS)

WEEK 5 · Sun 10/10 · 4:05 PM EST at Los Angeles Chargers (CBS)

WEEK 6 · Sun 10/17 · 4:05 PM EST Arizona Cardinals (FOX)

WEEK 7 · Thu 10/21 · 8:20 PM EST Denver Broncos (FOX/NFLN/AMZ)

WEEK 8 · Sun 10/31 · 1:00 PM EST Pittsburgh Steelers (CBS)

WEEK 9 · Sun 11/7 · 1:00 PM EST at Cincinnati Bengals (CBS)

WEEK 10 · Sun 11/14 · 1:00 PM EST at New England Patriots (CBS)

WEEK 11 · Sun 11/21 · 1:00 PM EST Detroit Lions (FOX)

WEEK 12 · Sun 11/28 · 8:20 PM EST at Baltimore Ravens (NBC)

WEEK 13 · BYE

WEEK 14 · Mon 12/12 · 1:00 PM EST Baltimore Ravens (CBS)

WEEK 15 · Dec. 18/19 · TBD Las Vegas Raiders (TBD)

WEEK 16 · Sat 12/25 · 4:30 PM at Green Bay Packers (FOX/NFLN/AMZ)

WEEK 17 · Mon 1/3 · 8:15 PM EST at Pittsburgh Steelers (ESPN)

WEEK 18 · Sun 1/9 · 1:00 PM EST Cincinnati Bengals (CBS)