PITTSBURGH — With 16 seconds remaining in the first half of their Week 13 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, the Cleveland Browns saw their season flash before their eyes when Baker Mayfield took off sprinting to the locker room while holding his right hand.
But while the Browns would ultimately leave the Steel City with their playoff hopes on life support, their second-year signal-caller appears to be doing just fine.
After returning to the game and playing the entire second half of Cleveland's 20-13 loss to the Steelers on Sunday, Mayfield appeared at his postgame press conference with his right hand heavily wrapped. The former No. 1 pick, however, said X-rays were negative and indicated that he had suffered a hand contusion, leaving little doubt that he'll be available to play when the Browns host the Cincinnati Bengals next week.
"I fully expect to be able to play," Mayfield said.
Mayfield suffered the injury after his right hand connected with the facemask of Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree on the follow-through of a pass attempt on the Browns' final offensive drive of the first half. While some feared the former Heisman Trophy winner had suffered an injury similar to the thumb injury that sidelined New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees for multiple weeks earlier this year, Mayfield ultimately finished the game wearing a glove, completing 18 of his 32 pass attempts for 196 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
Without Mayfield available, backup Garrett Gilbert would be the only active quarterback on the Browns roster. Wide receiver Jarvis Landry is considered Cleveland's emergency signal-caller.
As for whether or not the contusion hindered Mayfield in the second half, he denied that to be the case on multiple occasions. It remains to be seen if he'll need to continue wearing a glove moving forward, but if nothing else, it doesn't appear Mayfield's injury is as serious as some initially thought.