Baker Mayfield couldn’t wait to talk to the press after getting a second opinion on his injured shoulder.
And the news was good in his mind as he plans to play in the Cleveland Browns‘ Thursday night game.
That is not to say all is well with his left (non-throwing) shoulder.
But while there is increased inflammation and pain, it is reportedly no worse structurally than it was last week.
Browns QB Baker Mayfield's torn labrum in his left shoulder is not any structurally worse after the hit Sunday, according to a source. He's hoping to play Thursday, but it'll be a matter of pain management, controlling inflammation and whether he can function enough in the game.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) October 19, 2021
There is no doubt resting Thursday would help diminish the symptoms.
But Cleveland plays in front of a national audience this week.
And Mayfield not only hopes to continue his consecutive games streak for Cleveland.
But he also has a determination to show the NFL the Browns playoff hopes are not dead at 3-3.
Mayfield Status For Thursday Not Official
Not weighing in at today’s impromptu presser were the team doctors and Kevin Stefanski.
And the decision to play Mayfield over Case Keenum should be theirs.
While Mayfield said there was no additional permanent damage, he admitted he has a complete tear.
That is different from previous reports of a partial tear.
#Browns Baker Mayfield on why it’s important for him to keep playing pic.twitter.com/FBFYiiK1KU
— Fred Greetham (@FredGreetham9) October 19, 2021
Mayfield also said he does not know if he will need surgery, but a complete tear almost certainly does.
Especially a complete tear abused by continued contact and motion of football games and practices.
Rest is a vital component in the treatment of inflammation.
Yet Mayfield told reporters it was uncertain if he would practice later in the day.
Can Mayfield Be Effective Thursday Night?
Mayfield has not been his accurate and consistent self since the injury.
He threw 6 of his first 8 passes high and/or behind receivers last weekend.
Mayfield eventually settled into a short, controlled passing attack, with one notable exception.
He unloaded the longest completed pass by air yards ever recorded by the NFL’s NextGen Stats.
#Browns QB Baker Mayfield said his left labrum is completely torn, still is preparing to play Thursday night v #Broncos. Took umbrage with the notion him playing could hurt the team
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) October 19, 2021
But heaving a throw to an area is a far cry from hitting a covered receiver in stride.
Mayfield took multiple sacks Sunday and dislocated his shoulder at least twice.
He told reporters he has to avoid contact, a task that would be easier behind a healthy offensive line.
And if he has significant inflammation, dislocations can be trickier to fix during a game.
Should Mayfield Sit Out Thursday’s Game?
Mayfield admitted to reporters he is conscious of protecting his damaged shoulder in games.
Between the pain and the restriction of the brace, his throwing motion is affected.
Adapting to such an injury by changing his natural throwing motion is a risk.
NFL history is full of players who suffered significant injuries trying to compensate for nagging issues elsewhere.
#Browns Baker Mayfield said he still expects to play Thursday. Doesn't want to get into details about what he's been advised to do in regards to sitting out or playing.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) October 19, 2021
For all we know, favoring his achy knee contributed to Kareem Hunt‘s calf tear last week.
Mayfield wants to be a tough guy and thinks leadership is defined by guts.
But with a contract extension pending, the last thing he wants to do is hurt his throwing arm.
And a simple twist or push to minimize pain to his opposite shoulder can cause a strain or tear on his right side.
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