BEREA, Ohio — During what's been a largely inconsistent 2021 season, one of the few constants for Baker Mayfield has been injuries.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the Cleveland Browns quarterback went as far as to say that he's never been as banged up in his four-year NFL career as he is now.
“This is probably the most beat up I’ve ever been in my career," Mayfield said. "It's not like it's one particular thing, it's multiple. It's just that time of the year and things add up."
Mayfield's comments come just three days after he left the Browns' 45-7 loss to the New England Patriots with a knee injury. The fourth-year signal-caller left the contest with 2:26 remaining in the third quarter after taking a hit from Patriots outside linebacker Matthew Judon and was ultimately diagnosed with a knee contusion.
While Mayfield was ultimately cleared to return to the game, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski opted to hold him out of the remainder of the contest due to its lopsided score. The injury wasn't the first that the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft has suffered this season, as he has also been dealing with multiple injuries to his left shoulder since attempting to make a tackle following an interception in Cleveland's Week 2 win over the Houston Texans.
Mayfield's shoulder injuries -- which have included a torn labrum and fractured bone -- resulted in him missing the first game of his NFL career, the Browns' Week 7 win over the Denver Broncos. While he's since been able to make three consecutive starts, he admitted on Wednesday that injuries have impacted his play.
"There's definitely a couple of plays where I look back and say, 'Maybe I could have used my feet here and there' but I have to adapt," he said. "Nobody's going to feel bad for you. It's not an excuse. You just have to find a way to make a play."
As for whether he'd be practicing on Wednesday, Mayfield said he wasn't sure yet. He did, however, state that he expects to play on Sunday when the 5-5 Browns host the Detroit Lions (0-8-1).