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Browns rule out Baker Mayfield for Week 18 as he seeks shoulder surgery

The Browns have ruled out Baker Mayfield for the final week of the regular season

Head coach Kevin Stefanski announced Tuesday that QB Baker Mayfield will miss the Browns' Week 18 game against the Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium to finish the regular season.

Mayfield has played through a torn labrum in his shoulder since suffering the injury in the Browns' Week 2 win over the Texans, but he will now look to seek surgery and start the process of making a full recovery for the 2022 season.

"Baker won't play in this last game," Stefanski said. "We're going to hold him out. He's going to get surgery as soon as possible so that he can get back healthy as soon as possible."

With Mayfield out, the Browns will now turn to a quarterback room that includes Case Keenum and Kyle Lauletta to finish the regular season. 

Keenum, a nine-year veteran, started one game for the Browns this season in Week 7, when Cleveland defeated Denver 17-14 on Thursday Night Football. He completed 21-of-33 passes for 199 yards and one touchdown and managed the offense efficiently as the Browns opted to rest Mayfield on the short week. Lauletta is a two-year veteran who was signed to the active roster from the Jaguars' practice squad on Dec. 17.

With Mayfield ruled out, he has now finished his fourth NFL season having completed 60 percent of his passes for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. His 83.1 passer rating is his lowest since 2019, when he ended the year at 78.8. 

"Throughout this thing, we have tried to make the right decision based on all of the information available to us — constant dialogue with our medical staff, with Baker, all those type of things," Stefanski said. "Throughout, we have really felt comfortable based on that information that he was able to play.

"Obviously, we're frustrated for him, but we felt like (surgery) was the right thing to do for right now."