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Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield’s start to 2022 looked a lot like the end of 2021.
And that’s not a good thing.
Mayfield finished Cleveland’s 26-14 Monday night loss to Pittsburgh by completing less than 50% of his pass attempts (16 of 38), throwing for just 185 yards, a score and a pick. Now, he’ll ring in the New Year with surgery, which is likely to be scheduled sooner rather than later.
“I’ve made the decision, we’ve had discussions, that I am going to have surgery,” Mayfield after the game. “I am going to get this shoulder fixed and be able to come back next year at 100 percent. So that’s been decided. Now, when it’s happening, that has not been decided.”
Baker Mayfield said he will speak with family and agent about asking out of last game. "Right now, I'm pretty damn beat up, to be honest with you."
— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) January 4, 2022
Mayfield was injured in the Week Two home win against the Texans when he attempted to tackle a ball carrier after throwing an interception. Weeks later, after sustaining additional wear and tear, he was diagnosed with a torn labrum.
The injury kept Mayfield out of only one game, but he’s been playing with a harness which appears to be limiting his effectiveness. In his last three games, Mayfield’s thrown seven interceptions and just six touchdowns, while averaging under 200 yards passing.
“Right now, I’m pretty damn beat up, to be honest with you. There’s no way around it,” added Mayfield.
Since Cleveland has already been eliminated from the playoff picture, it appears likely that Baker’s season will end prior to next Sunday’s finale with rival Cincinnati, though Baker said he will speak with his family and agent before making a decision on whether to play next weekend.
“Now it’s time for me to start, you know, looking at what’s in the best interest for me and my health,” said Mayfield. “I’ve continued to lay it out on the line and I haven’t been healthy and tried to fight for our guys.”
If Monday marked the end of Baker’s season, he’ll finish with a less than surgical 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Whether he returns to Cleveland post-surgery is anyone’s guess.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF