Baker Mayfield has battled through injuries throughout his playing career, but 2021 has been a different animal.
Mayfield admitted Wednesday he's "probably the most beat up" he's been in his entire career as the Browns look ahead to their Week 11 matchup with the Lions. The fourth-year signal-caller has been dealing with an injured left shoulder since Week 2, a foot injury since last week and now a knee injury he suffered in Sunday's loss to the Patriots.
All three appeared next to Mayfield's name on the injury report Wednesday, a day in which he did not participate in practice. Still, Mayfield and coach Kevin Stefanski are confident he'll be ready to play Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium against the Lions
"It is not like it is one particular thing; it is multiple," Mayfield said. "It is just that time of the year, and things add up. Just a couple of things after another. It is what it is."
Asked if he could benefit from a week off, Mayfield said he had "plenty of time" until Sunday. Stefanski said the Browns would monitor him throughout the week but was confident he'd be healthy enough to play.
"You have to take it day to day like anything, but I am confident that he will make it," Stefanski said. "We always with the medical group make sure that whatever we are doing, we are making decisions in the best interest of the player. We will never put a player out there who is not ready, but if he is ready to go, he will play on Sunday."
Mayfield's most recent injury put an abrupt end to a tough day against the Patriots.
One week removed from one of his best games of the season, Mayfield struggled, completing 11-of-21 passes for 73 yards and a costly interception. The Browns fell in an early hole and never recovered largely because the offense couldn't get much of anything going after a successful opening drive.
Asked if his other two injuries impacted his performance before he suffered the third, Mayfield said there were a handful that came to mind but acknowledged he won't be garnering any sympathy from opposing defenses.
"I have to adapt," Mayfield said. "Nobody is going to feel bad for you. It is not an excuse. You have to find a way to make a play."
The Browns found success via explosive plays and consistent, chain-moving throws in their big Week 9 win in Cincinnati, but weren't able to recapture it on a frustrating day against the Patriots. Cleveland didn't convert a third down until late in the fourth quarter, and Mayfield wasn't able to find many opportunities to hit his receivers downfield.
Browns wide receivers accounted for just five catches for 52 yards Sunday. Mayfield, though, is confident he can get playmakers such as Jarvis Landry, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Rashard Higgins more involved this Sunday and beyond.
"We will find ways to get Jarvis involved back in the game plan," Mayfield said. 'There is no doubt about that. He is a tempo-setter for us. He is an extremely good leader and locker room guy for us. Everybody knows that. When it comes to Higgy, just going through my reads and putting the ball in a position where he can catch it and make plays when it is necessary but not trying to force it and overdo it.
"We will find ways to get the ball into No. 80's hands and get going again."