Mayfield was limited in practice on Wednesday, but the plan was to have him take his regular amount of reps as the starter, according to head coach Kevin Stefanski. So while Mayfield said playing against the Steelers is “absolutely” on the table, there is still work to be done.
Mayfield missed last week’s game against the Denver Broncos after reinjuring his shoulder while taking a sack against the Arizona Cardinals. That hit fractured Mayfield’s humerus bone in his left shoulder, which is on top of the fully torn labrum in the same shoulder.
With the Denver game coming just four days after the one against the Cardinals, there was not enough time for the inflammation in Mayfield’s shoulder to die down and allow him to play.
A few extra days off has helped, Mayfield said on Wednesday, but making it through practice this week will be key (quote via a team-provided transcript):
“(The time off) definitely did (help). (There was) a noticeable difference in range of motion and strength. Like I said, take it day by day, and see where we are. I do not know how long it takes for those things to heal, but it was mostly about the inflammation so I can get that range of motion and that strength back. That is where we are, and that is what we are continuing to evaluate.”
Mayfield also said that surgery is not necessarily a given to repair the damage in his shoulder and he is not worried about having his season end prematurely because of the injury (quote via a team-provided transcript):
“I am still taking it day by day to be honest with you because you can do certain things to repair the stuff inside the rotator cuff and strengthen it up. If you examine a lot of people’s shoulders, you will see a lot of partial tears in those labrums. You can do things to, I guess, help with that. We will evaluate that when the time needs.
“I am completely confident (about finishing the season). If you go out there, you are scared and you are timid, that is how you really get hurt seriously. I can’t do that. Like I said, trying to get the strength back and be able to go as close to 100 percent as possible.”
It is only Wednesday, but it sounds as if sitting out the game against the Broncos was beneficial for Mayfield, which is good.
He still has to make it through the next couple of days before the true test arrives on Sunday against the Steelers, but for now things seem to be trending in a positive direction.