BEREA, Ohio — Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has yet to throw a pass since injuring his throwing hand in last Sunday’s 20-13 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, but the second-year signal-caller is not worried about his availability in Week 13.
Despite not throwing in the portion of practice open to the media Wednesday, Mayfield addressed the matter in the locker room afterward and let it be known that he expects to start this week when the Browns welcome an AFC North Division foe, the Cincinnati Bengals, to FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.
“Mama didn’t raise a wuss,” Mayfield said while admitting playing Sunday will be all about his pain tolerance.
“Just getting better each day. We’re at walk-through tempo today besides the individual routes that you guys saw, so no need to try and do it today.”
The Browns dodged quite the bullet on an injury front with their starting quarterback.
After surrendering a 10-point lead, the Browns tried to move the ball in the final minute of the first half, but that nearly proved to be a costly decision.
On a deep pass attempt down the right side of the field, Mayfield hit the facemask of Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree on the follow-through of the throw and immediately began clutching at his right hand/wrist area while walking to the sideline.
“I’d say if Bud Dupree was there just a millisecond earlier, it could’ve been pretty bad, but I’m pretty fortunate,” Mayfield said.
“From everything that they evaluated, it’s just a nice contusion, bruise, whatever you want to call it.”
After hustling to Cleveland’s bench, Mayfield immediately made the long walk to the visiting locker room at Heinz Field with medical personnel in tow and backup quarterback Garrett Gilbert replaced him for the final two snaps of the half.
Despite the scare, Mayfield returned to play the whole second half, albeit with a glove on his throwing hand.
For the game, Mayfield completed 18 of his 32 throws for 196 yards with one touchdown against one interception and a lost fumble. Additionally, Mayfield scrambled once for a two-yard gain that gave the Browns a first down in the first half.
“It just took some getting used warming up,” Mayfield said. “I’ve thrown with a glove, but I’ve never played with one, so it was a little different, but I got used to it. I thought I played fine.
“(I like a) normal grip to where you feel the ball, feel the touch, feel the spin of it when you release it.”
Mayfield said he will “try to go” in Thursday’s practice, but even with a limited about of time to work with his receivers, the Browns’ No. 1 quarterback is confident the offense will be ready to go by Sunday.
“If we communicate on the right depths and where we need to be, then we shouldn’t have a problem,” Mayfield said. “It’s all about timing and knowing that we’ve built chemistry and I need to put the ball where we talk about it and they need to have their depth and be there on time.”