Baker Mayfield has played through several injuries so far this season, and the fourth-year quarterback picked up another one Sunday in New England.
Mayfield suffered a knee contusion in the third quarter of the Browns' 45-7 loss to the Patriots after taking a hard hit from Matthew Judon following a pass attempt. Mayfield, who is playing through a completely torn labrum in his left shoulder, was briefly tended to on the field by medical staff before he was examined in the injury tent. He was medically cleared to return, but the Browns kept him on the sidelines due to the score and to protect him from further injury.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski said Monday they'll monitor Mayfield throughout the week.
"Baker is day-to-day with his knee, but we're feeling good about where he is this morning," Stefanski said Monday. "He's fighting through it. We'll always make smart decisions with our players in consultation with the medical staff and player. But he's fighting through it."
Mayfield was relieved by Case Keenum after the injury and finished the game 11-of-21 with 73 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He said after the game that he doesn't think the injury will put his status in Week 11 against Detroit in doubt.
"I've got to find a way to get as healthy as possible," he said. "I'm pretty beat up right now. It was just an awkward hit and landing. So we'll see. Day by day."
Check out photos of the Browns against the Patriots in Week Ten
Browns lament third-down miscues
The Browns have several areas to address on both the offense and defense as they digest the reasons why Sunday got out of hand, but Stefanski identified third downs as one of the biggest areas the Browns must improve on both sides of the ball moving forward.
That category paints the picture of how the game went for Cleveland. The offense went 1-for-11 on third downs, while the defense allowed New England to go 7-for-9. Stefanski repeatedly highlighted that area when he discussed Monday where things broke down the most.
"The big thing for us was third down and not being able to continue drives and stay on the field, and then on the other side, not being able to stop them on those third downs," he said. "That was the key to the game."
Kareem Hunt update
Stefanski wasn't ready to say whether Kareem Hunt, who has been out since Week 6 with a calf injury, will be ready to return to practice this week.
Hunt is on Injured Reserve and will need to be designated to return before he can practice again.
"I think we'll see over the next couple days," Stefanski said. "He's progressing and working through his rehab, so we'll see."
The Browns relied on RB D'Ernest Johnson on Sunday with the absence of Hunt, as well as Nick Chubb, Demetric Felton and John Kelly, who were all placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list last week. Stefanski didn't have an update on when any of the running backs will be able to return, but he commended Johnson, who rushed 19 times for 99 yards, for doing another admirable job of keeping the run game strong.
"D'Ernest played how we feel like he's capable of playing," he said. "I think he did a nice job for us. We got behind there and had to throw it in those instances, but he played hard throughout the day, as you would expect."