Browns coach hints Baker Mayfield played hurt against Steelers
Baker Mayfield had a rough day in Sunday’s blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he was removed near the end of the third quarter. Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said after the game that the quarterback switch was made to protect Mayfield. Stefanski reiterated that on Monday.
Stefanski was asked on Monday if Mayfield could have used a week off due to a rib injury suffered in Week 5. Stefanski admitted the question was “fair.” However, the coach said Mayfield was medically cleared and earned the right to be out there with his teammates.
“That’s a fair question. He was cleared and had gotten better through the week,” Stefanski said, via Scott Petrak of The Chronicle-Telegram. “We didn’t keep him clean.”
Mayfield was swarmed by Pittsburgh’s defense and took four sacks in just three quarters. He was also crushed before halftime on a hit by Cam Heyward. Mayfield completed just 10-of-18 passes for 119 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. The Browns were trailing 31-7 at the time Stefanski benched him for Case Keenum, so the switch made sense given Mayfield’s health and the situation.
Stefanski added that Mayfield woke up sore on Monday but not nearly as sore as he was a week ago. The former top overall pick is still the team’s starter for Week 7 as long as he is cleared. Judging by the great quote he gave after last week’s game, it’s safe to assume Mayfield will be under center.