It’s Case Keenum time in Cleveland. The Cleveland Browns announced late Wednesday morning that starting quarterback Baker Mayfield will be a spectator for Cleveland’s home game against the Broncos on Thursday night. Keenum gets the nod in place of Mayfield, who’s nursing a torn labrum.
QB Case Keenum to start versus Broncos.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) October 20, 2021
Mayfield’s injury snaps a streak of 51 consecutive starts that began in Week Four of his rookie season (2018). He initially injured his labrum in the Week Two win versus Houston this year, then he aggravated the shoulder again in Sunday’s loss to Arizona.
The injury opened the door for Keenum to start in what could loosely be labeled a “revenge game.” The QB started 16 games for the Broncos in 2018, throwing 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He then spent a year in Washington before signing with Cleveland as a backup prior to the 2020 season.
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski addressed the move via the team’s website:
“Case Keenum will be our starter tomorrow night and we have full confidence in him to lead us and do the things necessary to put us in position to win. Baker fought really hard to play, he’s a competitor and obviously wants to be out there but just couldn’t make it on a short week. We know he will continue to do everything in his power to return as quickly as possible.”
Mayfield is the latest big-name Brown to fall victim to injury. Running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt have already been ruled out for Thursday night. Receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. and both starting offensive tackles are listed as questionable. Additionally, rookie standout linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.
Despite the rash of injuries, FanDuel Sportsbook currently lists Cleveland as three-point favorites over visiting Denver.
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