The Cleveland Browns loss on Sunday was truly an ugly affair.
But it could have been much worse.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield injured his ankle when he slipped on the first-down marker at the end of a scramble in the first quarter. Even though he did not miss a play, the ankle was noticeably bothering Mayfield throughout the rest of the game.
Luckily for Mayfield and the Browns, the injury does not appear to be serious, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport:
Baker Mayfield wouldn’t say it after the game, but the #Browns starter did turn his ankle during the game, limiting his effectiveness, I’m told. He’s got soreness and will get treatment for the sprain over the course of the week, but Mayfield shouldn’t miss time.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 15, 2018
How much the ankle injury bothered Mayfield during the game is unknown, but he did have the worst day of his short NFL career as he completed just 47.8 percent of his passes, tossed two interceptions, took five sacks and never looked like the Mayfield that electrified Browns fans the past few weeks.
Mayfield did not blame the injury on his performance, saying he was “good” in the post-game press conference, and head coach Hue Jackson said he did not believe that “it impacted him to where he could not play,” but it was clear that something was off all day with the offense.
And it is fair to wonder if, once the Browns fell behind 35-6 in the third quarter, it may have been a good idea to sit Mayfield for the rest of the game to avoid doing further damage to his ankle.
Hopefully it turns out that Mayfield is truly just suffering from “soreness” and won’t be forced to miss any time.