Jan 3, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) looks for an available receiver against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the third quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Browns’ Baker Mayfield has yet to throw ball this week

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield opened some eyes on Thursday when he admitted that he hasn’t thrown a ball this week.

That said, Mayfield expects to be ready for the team’s AFC wild-card game against the host Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night.

While Mayfield will be under center on Sunday, Browns starting safety Ronnie Harrison will be unable to play after testing positive for COVID-19.

Dr. Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer, admitted Thursday on NFL Network that “there was some spread (from) one individual to another,” in the latest round of the Browns’ positive COVID-19 cases.

Harrison, 23, returned from a four-game absence due to a shoulder injury and recorded six tackles in Cleveland’s 24-22 victory over Pittsburgh on Sunday.

While Harrison is headed to the reserve/COVID-19 list, fellow safety Andrew Sendejo was activated off that list on Thursday. He will be eligible to play on Sunday night.

Sendejo, 33, has collected 67 tackles in 14 games this season. He has 483 tackles and nine interceptions in 124 career games (75 starts) with the Dallas Cowboys (2010), Minnesota Vikings (2011-19), Philadelphia Eagles (2019) and Browns.

–Field Level Media

Dec 6, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) drops back to pass during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Mayfield helps Browns slay Titans

Baker Mayfield tied a franchise record held by Otto Graham and the Cleveland Browns set a franchise mark with 38 first-half points Sunday in a 41-35 defeat of the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, Tenn.

Mayfield completed 25 of 33 passes for 334 yards and four scores for a near-perfect passer rating of 147.0. All four touchdowns occurred in the first half, matching Graham’s feat that was originally accomplished in 1951.

Cleveland (9-3) scored on all six first half possessions, and could have easily made it six touchdowns. But rookie Donovan Peoples-Jones dropped a potential scoring pass just before Cody Parkey initiated scoring with a 27-yard field goal with 10:43 left in the first quarter.

However, Peoples-Jones made up for it in the second quarter. On the Browns’ first play after Tennessee got on the board with Ryan Tannehill’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Corey Davis, Peoples-Jones burned Breon Borders with an out-and-up. Mayfield hit Peoples-Jones in stride for a 75-yard score and a 24-7 advantage with 13:04 left in the first half.

That was part of a 28-point second quarter outburst for Cleveland. On the quarter’s first play, Mayfield lofted a 1-yard touchdown pass to offensive tackle Kendall Lamm. Mayfield added a 17-yard strike to Rashard Higgins and Nick Chubb capped the half by leaping a yard with 55 seconds remaining.

The Titans (8-4) tried to rally in the third quarter. They drew within 38-21 on two touchdowns by MyCole Pruitt. He caught a 22-yard pass from Tannehill, then recovered a fumble by A.J. Brown at the 3 and dove into the end zone.

Parkey’s 43-yard field goal upped the Browns’ lead to 20 points, and M.J. Stewart intercepted a tipped pass at the Cleveland 9 with 15 seconds remaining to keep Tennessee from drawing within two scores at the time.

Tannehill finished 29 of 45 for 389 yards with three touchdowns and the pick. He hit Cameron Batson with a 8-yard scoring strike with 28 seconds left to pull Tennessee within six points, but Andy Janovich fell on an onside kick to seal it.

League rushing leader Derrick Henry was held to 60 yards on 15 carries for Tennessee.

The Titans fell into a first place tie in the AFC South with Indianapolis, a 26-20 winner in Houston.

–Field Level Media

Nov 1, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) walks off the field during a time out in the first half against the Las Vegas Raiders at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Browns QB Mayfield added to reserve/COVID-19 list

The Cleveland Browns placed quarterback Baker Mayfield on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Sunday after he was found to be in close contact with a staff member who tested positive, the team announced.

The team said it received the positive test for the staffer on Saturday morning.

The Browns, who have a bye this week, could have Mayfield back at practice by Wednesday if he tests negative throughout that period.

Cleveland (5-3) hosts the Houston Texans on Nov. 15. The Texans (1-6) play the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6) on Sunday.

Mayfield, 25, has started every game this season and thrown for 1,514 yards with 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Approximately half the league’s teams were dealing with at least one case of COVID-19 this week as cases spiked across the country, but the Sunday morning results were all clear and all 12 Sunday games are on schedule to be played, per ESPN.

–Field Level Media

Oct 11, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) calls a play in the huddle during the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Mayfield, Landry, OBJ expected to play for Browns

The Cleveland Browns are expected to have their top trio of offensive stars available when they visit the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, according to an ESPN report.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield and wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry all were listed as questionable headed into game day, but will be on hand as the Browns (4-1) look for a win in Pittsburgh (4-0) after 16 straight losses there.

Mayfield was limited in practice with sore ribs after the third-year pro took a shot from Justin Houston last week in the Browns’ 32-23 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Mayfield is 1-2 vs. the Steelers in his career with five TDs against two interceptions. He has yet to throw for 200 yards, completing 57 percent of his passes in those games.

Beckham, who left camp with an undisclosed illness on Thursday, has since tested negative for COVID-19 twice and rejoined the team on Saturday. He has 21 catches for a team-high 294 receiving yards with four touchdowns, including one rushing score, on the season.

Landry missed practice Wednesday and Thursday with a lingering rib injury he suffered against the Colts. He has 21 catches for 279 yards for the season.

The Browns are 4-1 for the first time since 1994.

–Field Level Media

Oct 11, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) fist bumps running back Andy Janovich (31) before the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Indianapolis Colts at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Mayfield (ribs) limited but expected to play vs. Steelers

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was limited in practice Wednesday with sore ribs, but the third-year pro is expected to play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Mayfield took a shot from Justin Houston last week in the Browns’ 32-23 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

“He’s sore today and we’ll see how he is tomorrow,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said Wednesday.

Mayfield told reporters Sunday that he’ll be ready to play against the undefeated Steelers, adding that “Momma didn’t raise no wuss.”

Mayfield called last week’s game his worst of this season. He threw two interceptions to go with two touchdown throws on 21 of 37 passing. His 247 yards passing were the most in five games so far.

Mayfield is 1-2 vs. the Steelers in his career with five TDs against two interceptions. He has yet to throw for 200 yards, completing 57 percent of his passes in those games.

Case Keenum is Cleveland’s No. 2 quarterback.

The Browns are 4-1 for the first time since 1994 but have lost 16 consecutive games at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field.

–Field Level Media

Nov 3, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) during the National Anthem before the game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Mayfield changes mind, will stand for anthem

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said Saturday that he remains committed to the cause of social justice but will stand for the national anthem after initially saying he would kneel.

He said his change of heart was inspired by recent actions of his NFL counterparts and by not wanting to be a distraction from the issue.

“After watching Thursday’s game and also watching the Dolphins players’ video, it shows that it is not about who is standing or who is kneeling for the anthem,” Mayfield, 25, wrote in a statement he posted to social media. “But instead, coming together and taking action to create real change.”

Still, Mayfield, who is entering his third season as the Browns’ offensive leader, said he supports whatever choice Cleveland players make.

“I will respect my teammates no matter their decision,” Mayfield wrote. “We have had meaningful discussions on what true change looks like, and that change takes all of us being together.”

In the NFL season opener on Thursday, the Kansas City Chiefs stood for the anthem while the Houston Texans remained in the locker room. Once both teams were on the field, the teams stood together and joined arms as social justice messages played on the scoreboard. Miami players have said they won’t participate in the anthem ceremony.

After the passing of George Floyd — a Black man who died when a Minneapolis police officer put a knee to his neck — in May, Mayfield vowed to kneel for the anthem. Now, he said, that gesture isn’t a way to create change, rather sowing division.

“My heart is even more passionate than it was months ago, due to the fact that we are not close to being where our country needs to be,” Mayfield wrote Saturday. “I love this country, but these challenges and adversity are an opportunity for much needed change for issues that have been going on for far too long. It is going to come down to how we handle adversity and taking advantage of our opportunities.”

The Browns open the season Sunday in Baltimore against the Ravens.

–Field Level Media

Aug 10, 2020; Cleveland, OH, USA;  Cleveland Browns player Baker Mayfield during training camp. Mandatory Credit: Matt Starkey/Cleveland Browns via USA TODAY Sports

Browns QB Mayfield: ‘I lost myself’ last season

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said Friday that he lost himself amid doubt and a spiraling season during the 2019 campaign.

But the third-year QB said that’s all behind him, and he’s in “much better state, mentally, physically. Just ready to roll. Back to where I need to be to be the leader.”

Mayfield made the comments in an interview with reporters.

“The last couple years have been a roller-coaster of emotions and not nearly as much success as I’m used to,” Mayfield told reporters. “So I’d say I lost myself not having that success, not finding out what was working. I think I tried different ways of trying to have that success and didn’t find it.”

Mayfield threw 22 touchdowns against 21 interceptions en route to a 6-10 record last season that resulted in the firing of coach Freddie Kitchens after just one year and general manager John Dorsey.

Further, Mayfield said he has shed body fat and added four pounds of muscle.

“Looking back on last year — physically, I wasn’t able to work out as much, being beat up. So I was heavier than I was ever playing before at a playing weight,” Mayfield said. “I needed to be able to have the scrambling ability to move in the pocket. It’s my job to be in prime physical shape, to show up and do my job on Sundays.”

–Field Level Media