Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has been around long enough to know one indisputable truth about life in the NFL.
Mainly, no one cares about your problems.
Mayfield’s injury woes seemingly multiply on a weekly basis, starting with the torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder suffered in Week 2, and continuing through a broken in his non-throwing shoulder, some sort of injury to his left foot, and a hit to his right knee in last week’s game against the New England Patriots that made his leg go numb and ultimately led to him exiting the game near the end of the third quarter.
Through it all Mayfield has only missed one game, but his performance has been extremely erratic, which has helped to contribute to the Browns heading into this week’s game against the Detroit Lions having lost four of their last six games.
On Wednesday, Mayfield admitted that his current physical state is the worst it has ever been but that he also is not expecting any sympathy (quotes via a team-provided transcript):
“This is probably the most beat up I have been in my career, and it is not like it is one particular thing; it is multiple. It is just that time of the year, and things add up. Nobody is going to feel bad for you. It is not an excuse. You have to find a way to make a play.”
Mayfield was not able to practice on Wednesday, but he said he plans to play on Sunday against the Lions. While it might not be the worst idea to consider having him sit out the game to provide some extra rest before the crucial home-and-home series with the Baltimore Ravens, it does not sound like that is currently being considered.
Mayfield might be ready to go, or be as ready as possible, for the Lions, but just who will be out there with him remains very much in question.
One player that will definitely not be playing is running back Kareem Hunt, as head coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed on Wednesday that Hunt is not ready to come off the injured reserve list. Fellow running back Nick Chubb is still on the COVID-19 list and Stefanski said the team will “let the protocols play themselves out” when it comes to determining if Chubb will be cleared in time to face Detroit.
Wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones aggravated his groin injury in practice on Wednesday, Jarvis Landry did not practice as he is still dealing with his sore knee, and Anthony Schwartz is currently in the league-mandated concussion protocol after suffering a concussion in Sunday’s loss to the New England Patriots.
Depending on how the rest of the week goes, it may be Mayfield, running back D’Ernest Johnson, and Ja’Marcus Bradley, Rashard Higgins and a band of misfits at the wide receiver position come Sunday afternoon.
No matter who is out there, the Browns need to find a way to get the job done against a winless Detroit team if they want to keep any hope alive of making a run at the playoffs.
And, as Mayfield rightfully pointed out, nobody is certainly going to feel bad about the Browns and their current situation.