Insisting that they will “continue to listen to medical staff”, Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski offers vague update on Baker Mayfield’s return.
Initial reports mentioned a torn labrum, but Mayfield is additionally suffering from a fractured shoulder and torn rotator cuff.
Despite the obvious obstacles, Mayfield is determined to get back onto the field. “As soon as [the fractured shoulder] is healed, I’m getting back out there,” Mayfield told Glazer. When asked about the timeline, Mayfield said he was “hoping for next week.”
The timetable remains uncertain, which is something Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski underscored early Friday afternoon. All Stefanski revealed is that the Browns coaching staff would “continue to listen to medical staff” as Mayfield’s definitive return remains uncertain.
Kevin Stefanski speaks on whether or not Baker Mayfield will return in Week 8
Mayfield is eager to return because like his myriad shoulder injuries, the sensation of being sidelined is unusual to him. Since he was named the Browns starter in 2018, Mayfield had never missed a game due to injury until the Thursday night win over the Denver Broncos. Backup players stepped up their game on all facets, from quarterback Case Keenum to breakout star running back D’Ernest Johnson. Although the Browns are dealing with serious injuries across the board, Keenum and Johnson demonstrated that this AFC North team remains competitive in a bruising division.
Mayfield’s return remains cloudy as his injuries heal, but there are some NFL experts who can offer insight into the kind of issues Mayfield will have to overcome to resume play.
Former NFL head team surgeon Dr. David Chao offers deep insight into Mayfield’s current injuries, chronicling how a Week 2 shoulder dislocation worsened during the Week 6 J.J. Watt strip sack that now has him sidelined.
“If he really needs a fracture to heal, there’s no way he’s playing Oct. 31 versus the Steelers,” Dr. Chao said. “Fractures don’t heal that quickly, but I still think Baker has a good chance to play.”
In explaining the intricacies of his injury, Dr. Chao detailed how Mayfield could have a partial fracture and still return relatively soon. “With proper rehab and harness, it is possible for him to have a fracture yet return to playing next week for Week 8.”
Although Dr. Chao is not dealing with Mayfield’s injuries directly as his physician, his decades of experience with athletes offers insight into whether or not Mayfield will take the field for a frightening Halloween battle against the Steelers.