He has a laundry list of injuries that keep stacking up and are definitely impacting his performance.
Mayfield has not shown the precision and prowess he had in 2020 when the Browns went 11-5 and advanced to the second round of the playoffs before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs.
No one questions Mayfield’s toughness because he is clearly playing in pain.
What many question is whether he should be playing at all.
Is he helping his team in his injured state?
More importantly, is he impacting his long-term health and recovery by continuing to play through the pain?
It almost seems like he might be too hurt to play.
I’ve been saying for weeks, Baker Mayfield needs to sit out. He's banged up. He's playing with a shoulder injury, a knee injury, a heel injury and a torn labrum. Letting him play is hurting the team ! #Browns
— Mike Pellegrini (@MIKE_BROWNS_UK) November 21, 2021
Baker Mayfield, by his own admission, is super “banged up” right now (knee, foot, shoulder). He was walking very gingerly to and from the postgame podium. Will be interesting to see how much he’s able to practice this week. #Browns
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) November 14, 2021
#Browns QB Baker Mayfield is expected to need surgery on his torn labrum following the season, sources say, the result of the hits he’s taken on his non-throwing shoulder. The belief is he can deal with it through the season, but incurring more damage would make it challenging.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 21, 2021
Mayfield’s shoulder injury happened in Week 2 during the Browns win over the Houston Texans.
After throwing an interception, he tackled the runner.
This contact started the problems with his non-throwing shoulder.
He continued to play and take the hits which made the shoulder problem even worse.
While we believe he started with a partially torn labrum, it later evolved into a completely torn labrum.
This injury requires surgery, rest, and rehabilitation.
As he played on, it was revealed that he had a broken bone in his shoulder also.
He reluctantly missed one game in Week 7, but he has played ever since.
Mayfield downplayed this injury as a sore foot that was no big deal.
He said it was is “nothing major by any means.”
— Fred Greetham (@FredGreetham9) November 11, 2021
Described as a knee contusion, Mayfield suffered this injury in Week 10.
Basically, it is a bruised bone.
— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) November 17, 2021
“Caught the nerve on the outside of my leg, made it go numb. The outside of my knee is sore and tender but that numbness where you can’t feel your legs…pretty scary.”
Any one of these injuries could sideline a quarterback, but Mayfield trying to play at a high level while dealing with all three of them at the same time is really astounding.
The non-throwing shoulder is a concern because of the blind hits he could take where he perhaps would brace himself and make it worse.
Supposedly, the brace can protect against further injury, but who can know that for sure when 300-pound men are falling on top of him.
Any leg injuries for quarterbacks are a big concern.
Because they are rhythmic and measured with their steps and footwork particularly as it leads into pass plays, lower body injuries can throw off a quarterback’s mechanics and impact his accuracy.
Mayfield has not been as accurate; he is sailing passes high which many believe is because of his injuries.
If his injuries are impacting his performance that much, it is time to question whether he should be going out there each week.
Toughness is one thing, but stupidity and recklessness is another.
This is where the coaches and medical staff have to step in and make the right decisions for the team and the player’s longevity.