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The Cleveland Browns have an important game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 8. The Halloween matchup will decide who is in last place in the AFC North despite both teams having .500 or better records through seven weeks.
Outside of inconsistencies and the inability to beat the best teams on their schedule, the biggest story for the Browns has been injuries. While Jedrick Wills and Jarvis Landry returned last week and Nick Chubb and Jack Conklin could return this week, Baker Mayfield is the biggest name and story.
His injuries are interesting ones that are connected. He has a torn labrum in his left shoulder as well as a bone fracture in that area as well. The labrum is unlikely to heal without surgery but the non-displaced bone fracture can heal with time.
With Case Keenum starting on Thursday Night Football, Mayfield will have given that bone two weeks to heal since his Week 6 start against Arizona. While that may not be much, Cleveland’s starting quarterback has noticed a difference but that he has to see how it responds in practice:
#Browns Baker Mayfield said he'll see what he's able to do throughout this week of practice.
Said the time off has made a "noticeable difference" in his shoulder injury.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) October 27, 2021
Much like how the team handled the Wills injury, it seems like the Browns are likely to get Mayfield back on the field as quickly as possible.
Could it be gamesmanship to make the Steelers prepare for both quarterbacks? Does his press conference today and, assumed, practice mean for certain that Mayfield will not go on injured reserve?
We will get the team’s first initial Week 8 injury report Wednesday to learn more about the quarterback’s participation as well as news on the rest of the team’s injuries.