BEREA, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield did not practice Monday and it’s too early to determine if he’ll be able to play against the Steelers Sunday.
“We’ll see,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said in response to multiple questions following practice.
“We’ll know more as we get into the week.”
Stefanski couldn’t say if Mayfield would practice Wednesday.
Mayfield, who saw his consecutive starts streak end at 53 consecutive games including playoffs end, was inactive for Thursday’s 17-14 win over the Broncos, which saw backup Case Keenum complete 21 of 33 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown.
If Mayfield is unable to go, Keenum would start again.
“It is hard to say how it is going to play out,” Stefanski said. “I am not in the prediction business. There are a lot of things I want. 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.”
Following the win over Denver, Keenum lamented missed opportunities due to inaccuracy with a few passes but felt with more reps will come better throws.
“I think any quarterback gets better certainly with more opportunities,” Stefanski said. “I think Thursday nights are really challenging because you do not get a ton of work during the week to work on timing and the precision in the pass game. I guess I am not surprised that he feels like he would get better with more time.”
Prior to Thursday night’s game Mayfield told Jay Glazer of Fox Sports he had a fracture of the top of the humerus in addition to a torn labrum and that the bone would need to heal before he could return.
Stefanski also declined to clarify the situation surrounding Mayfield’s injury or if rest would benefit the 2018 No. 1 overall pick.
“I would probably be speaking out of turn if I spoke to that,” Stefanski said. “I think that’s really a medical type of thing. I would just tell you I’m listening to all the people that have the degrees, and we’ll go with what they tell us.”
Mayfield tried to practice last Tuesday but the swelling was too great and additional damage found preventing him from starting against the Broncos.
Stefanski did concede the long weekend may have helped Mayfield.
“I think he is feeling better,” Stefanski said.
Mayfield suffered the torn labrum September 19 in a 31-21 win over the Texans while trying to make a tackle following an interception. He did not miss a snap in the game despite being quickly examined on the sideline and locker room.
He aggravated the injury in the third quarter of a 37-14 loss to the Cardinals on October 17 when he was strip sacked by Arizona defensive end J.J. Watt, leading to a re-dislocation and the broken humerus. After the game Mayfield said his left shoulder popped out again on a non-contact play the following series.
With the game out of hand, Keenum came on to finish the game out late in the fourth quarter.
The Browns have yet to place Mayfield on injured reserve and it is unclear if the team would make such a move.
“He’s getting his work in but I’m not going to comment on the roster status,” Stefanski said.
Players are eligible to return after missing three games and Stefanski is a fan of the rule adjustment these last two seasons.
“I think that has been a great rule for us in terms of opening up a roster spot,” Stefanski said. “Even some of the COVID elevations have been really nice and getting some of those practice squad guys up in a given week. The more flexibility, the better.”