Browns QB Baker Mayfield plans to play against Broncos, “It’s my decision”

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BEREA, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Baker Mayfield plans to play Thursday night against the Denver Broncos.

Despite dislocating his left shoulder twice in Sunday’s 37-14 loss to the Cardinals, if Mayfield has his way, he will not sit out.

“It's just pain tolerance and wanting to be out there for my guys,” Mayfield said prior to practice Tuesday.

Mayfield remained inside to get additional treatment during the portion of practice open to reporters, which includes stretching as well as individual and positional drill work, but came out as practice was being closed to the media and began throwing.

“I think you guys know Baker – he is a fighter,” head coach Kevin Stefanski said. “He is as tough as they come. I expect him to fight like crazy to get to Thursday. I think that is a great message to our entire team, and we have talked about that as a team. On these Thursday night games you have to fight, scratch and claw because it is hard, but it is hard on both teams.”

Stefanski indicated that he will listen to Mayfield if the 2018 No. 1 overall pick says he can play.

“With Baker and with all of our players, they have significant input in these decisions because it is their body,” Stefanski said. “I just rely on what they say and I rely on the medical staff when making those determinations.”

Mayfield revealed that in Week 2 he suffered a “completely torn” left labrum and other “frayed” parts within his shoulder in a 31-21 win over the Texans. The injury was the result of Mayfield trying to make a tackle following an interception.

Mayfield remained down early in the fourth quarter Sunday after being strip-sacked by Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt, which led to the dislocation. His shoulder popped out again on a non-contact play on the next offensive series as well.

“Only I know how my body feels,” Mayfield said. “And if anyone questions whether I’m hindering the team in going out there injured, that’s just not right,” Mayfield said. “So it’s my decision, I get to say whether I’m able to play or not, and that’s just how it is.”

Mayfield has started 51 consecutive games in the regular season and 53 in a row if you include the playoffs, the most since Brian Sipe started 70 consecutive games in the regular season from 1978-1982 and 71 in a row including the post season.

Keeping that streak going matters to Mayfield.

“I think that sets the tone,” Mayfield said. “Obviously, if I was in a physical state where I wasn't able to play to the best of my abilities and I was hurting the team, I wouldn't do that because I care about winning and I want to give this team the best position to do that, so I want to be out there, I want to get healthy, I want to do all that, so that's what it's about.”

Mayfield said he has “no idea” if he will require surgery at some point.

As the Broncos roll into town this week, the Browns are a MASH unit.

Jarvis Landry remains on injured reserve, Odell Beckham Jr. injured his shoulder Sunday, Nick Chubb sat last week out due to a calf injury and Kareem Hunt is lost to injured reserve with a calf injury, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is now on IR, both starting offensive tackles – Jedrick Wills and Jack Conklin have ankle and knee injuries respectively.

It might be why Mayfield feels the need to play no matter what.

“No one’s going to give us any mercy or feel bad for us,” Mayfield said. “I’m not doing it to send a message, I’m doing it because we need to win. We’re 3-3, the most important game is the next one. And we need to go out there and do our damn job and find a way to win on a short week. It’s as simple as that.

“That’s part of the culture and winning mentality mindset we’ve been trying to build here. You should want to be out there. You should want to be playing for this team. You should want to be fighting for the guys next to you and if not, that’s not the type of guys we want here. We’re trying to continue to build that mentality and that culture.”