Baker Mayfield plans to face Broncos on Thursday despite shoulder injury

The Cleveland Browns fell to the Arizona Cardinals 37-14 on Sunday and subsequently listed 20 — yes, 20 — players on their injury report Monday ahead of Thursday’s prime-time matchup against the Denver Broncos, a showdown between a pair of 3-3 clubs. Most worrisome among Cleveland’s injury woes is that quarterback Baker Mayfield appeared to re-dislocate his left (non-throwing) shoulder versus Arizona, a setback that reportedly put his season in jeopardy as recently as Monday evening. 

According to Kevin Patra of the NFL’s website, Mayfield addressed reporters Tuesday and left no doubt he’s planning on playing against Denver. 

“It’s my decision. I get to say whether I play or not, and that’s just how it is,” he explained during his comments. 

It was previously believed Mayfield suffered a partially torn labrum in Week 2 on Sept. 19, but he confirmed Tuesday the issue is more serious. 

“It’s actually completely torn,” Mayfield announced. “There’s some other stuff that’s frayed within it. It’s just one of those things … with shoulder injuries like that you try to stabilize it. Strengthen the muscles and ligaments around it to where you feel that stability and didn’t have the likelihood of popping out as much nearly as much. So that’s where I’m at right now. Luckily I’ve had a great guy working with me to be able to do those things. … It’s managing that, and it’s trying to prevent it from happening again. But on a fall like the game Sunday, anybody’s shoulder probably would of popped out from how I felt. So it was kind of a freak deal.”

The Browns already knew running back Kareem Hunt was set to miss multiple games because of a calf injury, and fellow ball-carrier Nick Chubb also has a calf problem. Starting offensive tackles Jedrick Wills and Jack Conklin were among those inactive against the Cardinals. 

Backup Case Keenum remains available to fill in for Mayfield if Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski ultimately decides to protect his QB1 from himself and give the 26-year-old some extra rest ahead of the Week 8 contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Halloween afternoon. 

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