Browns Notes: Baker Mayfield sits out practice Wednesday, expected to play against Ravens
BEREA, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Baker Mayfield didn’t dress for practice Wednesday and spent the portion open to reporters as an observer.
Mayfield, wearing the team’s camouflage pullover and a brown pair of sweatpants, remained engaged by walking with the quarterbacks up and down the field while they took snaps.
“I am feeling better and better as the weeks go on,” Mayfield said prior to practice. “No setbacks so we will see.”
Head coach Kevin Stefanski didn’t sound concerned about the possibility of Mayfield taking another day of when the topic came up 30 minutes before practice began.
“In the course of an NFL season, that training room unfortunately there are a lot of guys in there trying to get right and trying to make it to Sunday,” Stefanski said. “That is just part of this grind.”
Despite missing practice Wednesday, like he did a week ago, Mayfield is expected to start Sunday night in Baltimore.
“It is a couple of hours extra of rehab and whatnot throughout the week, but that is what is necessary this time of the year,” Mayfield said of the extra preparation that has been required of him recently.
The day off was helpful last week and the expectation is that it’ll do the same this week.
“I still got the mental reps, like we just finished up walkthrough and doing all of that,” Mayfield said. “That is this part of the season where a lot of guys are banged up, and a lot of guys, it is so important to be mentally locked in during the week when you might not get some of these reps. Also, just the mentality of some guy goes down, you have to have somebody be ready to step up. We enforce that mentally [during the] preparation part of the week.”
In addition to the torn labrum in his left shoulder, Mayfield has also been playing with bone bruises in his left heel and right knee which are impacting his mechanics.
“Your lower body is so important in your throwing motion regardless so it has been definitely a different issue to overcome,” Mayfield said. “But the shoulder stuff is kind of the new normal, and I am not really worried about that anymore. I still try and protect as much as I can. Like I told you guys, there are plays to be made with my feet, and that is where I have been kind of frustrated with that.”
3 receivers down – Jarvis Landry, Anthony Schwartz and Donovan Peoples-Jones did not practice Wednesday.
“I think that was similar to last week in terms of those guys’ availability on Wednesday,” Stefanski said. “I feel good about Jarvis and then I am just not sure on Schwartzy and DPJ.”
Landry continues to rest his injured knee during the week while Peoples-Jones is dealing with a groin injury and Schwartz remains in concussion protocol.
Peoples-Jones leads the Browns with three receiving touchdowns and has proven himself to be a dependable target for Mayfield.
“He is a very consistent guy,” Mayfield said. “He is somebody who he is going to be in the same spot every time. You talk through it with him throughout the week, and you can trust that he is going to do it come game time, as well.”
Limiting Lamar – Containing Ravens quarterback and former NFL MVP Lamar Jackson will be a top priority Sunday night, but it’s much easier said than done.
“I think it’s a bigger emphasis on swarming to the ball,” linebacker Anthony Walker said. “All 11 guys got to be in the frame when the film stops and that’s what we’re going to work on at practice.”
In addition to completing over 64% of his passes for 2,447 yards with 14 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, Jackson has rushed for 639 yards and a pair of touchdowns while averaging 6.0 yards per carry this season.
“Obviously, he presents a different challenge,” safety John Johnson III said. “Being able to run the ball every down and being able to make every throw definitely presents a different challenge, but the same execution we have to do every week.”
Jackson’s ability to beat defenses with his arm as well as feet is a problem rarely solved considering his 36-10 record as a regular season starter for the Ravens.
“He is a great player,” Stefanski said. “We respect him. Certainly, he has our attention. It is just a matter of being sound in all of what you do for 60 minutes or more. You can’t let up versus a great player.”
Early returns – Browns defensive end Myles Garrett ranks fourth in overall Pro Bowl fan voting according to tabulations gathered as of Tuesday at noon and released by the NFL Wednesday.
Garrett has received 76,064 votes, most among defensive players.
Garrett trails Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (81,087 votes), Rams receiver Cooper Kupp (80,673) and Chief tight end Tavis Kelce (79,910).
Left guard Joel Bitonio is the leading vote getter at his position with 38,810 votes.
Hall of Fame strikeout – No former Browns advanced to the semifinal round of the Hall of Fame process when the 26 semifinalists for the class of 2022 were announced Wednesday.
Injury report – DNP: QB Baker Mayfield (left shoulder, knee, foot), DT Malik Jackson (knee), WR Jarvis Landry (knee), WR Donovan Peoples-Jones (groin), WR Anthony Schwartz (concussion), LB Tony Fields (illness); LIMITED: DE Jadeveon Clowney (neck, wrist, knee), CB Troy Hill (neck), LB Sione Takitaki (shoulder), C J.C. Tretter (knee); FULL: CB A.J. Green (concussion), DT Malik McDowell, DE Takkarist McKinley (groin), LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (ankle)
Up next – Practice Thursday.