BEREA, Ohio — Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said that it’s “absolutely” possible he could return Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers after missing Cleveland’s last game with a left shoulder injury.
Mayfield added that the torn labrum, along with the tuberosity fracture, in his non-throwing shoulder was already feeling better after he sat last Thursday’s game against the Denver Broncos, and that he hopes to continue to make progress this week to return in time for the Steelers.
“It definitely [helped]. A noticeable difference in range of motion and strength,” Mayfield said before Wednesday’s practice, of the time he had off. “Trying to get that strength back and be able to go as close to a 100 percent as possible. But if that’s not the case, then we trust the guys we have out there.”
Mayfield had played through the labrum injury since Week 2. But on Oct. 17 against Arizona, he aggravated the injury and suffered the fracture. Mayfield practiced last week and vowed to play against Denver, but was ultimately ruled out. Backup Case Keenum started in his place, as the Browns won, 17-14.
Mayfield, who had never missed an NFL start because of injury before, admitted Wednesday that the inflammation in the shoulder was just too severe for him to come back on the short week.
“I said it last week, if I feel like I’m not able to be close to 100 percent and be able to help this team — if I’m in a situation where I’m going to hurt the team — I’m not going to go,” he said.
Keeping the inflammation down, so that he can regain his range of motion and strength, Mayfield added, will be the key to returning Sunday.
“I’m looking at taking it day-by-day,” he said. “I think you guys know how I am. I want to be out there playing.”