Baker Mayfield is back.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski said Friday that Mayfield was medically cleared to play and will return as the Browns starting quarterback Sunday against the Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mayfield did not play in Week 7 due to a left shoulder injury, which has healed enough for him to play in the 13 days since he last appeared in Week 6.
"He will play. He will start," Stefanski said. "He met all the requirements medically. I feel good about that process and how that went. I'd tell you it's pretty simple. Medically, he's ready to go."
Mayfield has passed for 1,474 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions in six games this season and was relieved by veteran backup QB Case Keenum last week. His absence ended his streak of 51 consecutive games as the Browns starting quarterback since his rookie season in 2018.
Mayfield said Wednesday he was hopeful to return this week after testing his shoulder during practice.
"(There's) a noticeable difference in range of motion and strength," he said. "I don't know how long it takes for those things to heal, but it was mostly about the inflammation so I can get that range of motion and that strength back."
Stefanski said Mayfield looked crisp in practice and was able to handle all of the work he normally takes each week. Mayfield was listed as a limited participant Wednesday and Thursday but showed he was comfortable and ready to return as the starting quarterback.
"Baker feels as though he's ready and ready to help this team win," Stefanski said. "Functionally, he's 100 percent."