Going into Week 7, the Cleveland Browns are without several key players due to injuries, with a majority of them being on the offensive starting roster. These inactive players include Odell Beckham Jr (wide receiver,) Nick Chubb (runningback,) Kareem Hunt (runningback,) Jedrick Wills Jr (offensive tackle,) Jack Conklin (offensive tackle,) JC Tretter (center,) Jadeveon Clowney (defensive end,) Malcolm Smith (linebacker,) and now, quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Playing Injured or Sitting Out
In last week’s 37-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Mayfield aggravated a previous left shoulder injury, and on Tuesday, he said that he and he alone was going to decide whether or not he would play the next game. “It’s my decision, I get to say whether I’m able to play or not, and that’s just how it is.”
Early on Wednesday, it was announced that the Browns would be starting backup quarterback Case Keenum on Thursday night’s Week 7 game against the Denver Broncos.
QB Change Up
“Case Keenum will be our starter tomorrow night and we have full confidence in him to lead us and do the things necessary to put us in position to win,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said, “Baker fought really hard to play, he’s a competitor and obviously wants to be out there but just couldn’t make it on a short week. We know he will continue to do everything in his power to return as quickly as possible.”
Keenum is very excited to get the chance to start for a struggling Browns team. He is a veteran player with 62 regular season starts under his belt, but he has not started since 2019. Naturally, he is more than ready for an opportunity to get some playing time.
“Even on a short week like this, I’ve done it a lot so I’m excited with the guys out there,” Keenum said, “I know we’re uncertain on a lot of the guys, who’s going to be out there, but I’m built for this. This is what I’ve done my whole career, not knowing if I’m going to start up until the game time, to not knowing who’s out there with me, to introducing myself to players while I’m calling a play, type stuff.”
Health over Streak
This will be Baker Mayfield’s very first game he has ever missed due to an injury. Inititally, he planned to play through the injury, but he, medical personnel, and coaches decided against it. Mayfield’s streak of 52 consecutive starts has, officially, been broken.
Keenum praised Mayfield for his work ethic, determination, and resilience. “He is a tough, tough, tough, tough dude, and he fought through some serious pain just to practice and just to get going a little bit,” Keenum said, “So I can’t speak on the injury and I won’t speak because I don’t know much about it, but I do know he’s tough. It’d take a freight train to keep him out of the game, and I’m assuming that’s what it did because that dude plays through some serious pain. It’s impressive to be around. It’s inspiring.”
Will Case Keenum be able to lead the Cleveland Browns to their fourth win of the season? Tune in on Thursday night to find out!