Torn Labrums, Instagram Posts, & Baker Mayfield's Impossible Discussion

Torn Labrums, Instagram Posts, & Baker Mayfield's Impossible Discussion

Nick Pedone
1 year ago
3 min read
Torn Labrums, Instagram Posts, & Baker Mayfield's Impossible Discussion

It's damn near impossible to discuss Baker Mayfield without irrational takes.

On one side of the coin, you have the folks that wanted to draft anyone but Mayfield in the 2018 NFL Draft. They still cling onto it every chance they can get.

On the other side, you have grown individuals that will write Baker sonnets on social media, proclaiming they wouldn't rather any quarterback than Mayfield.

Somewhere in the middle― rationality.

A surprise to nobody, Mayfield's NFL career has been a rollercoaster.

At the end of the day, he was the quarterback tasked with turning around an organization that went 0-16 following a 1-15 dumpster fire. He somehow survived the end of Hue Jackson and the entirety of Freddie Kitchens. 

Up until now, Mayfield has had more head coaches than seasons played. Unheard of in the NFL. But this isn't an article about excuses. It's an article about rationality.

Baker Mayfield's 2021

In the second half of the 2020 season, there was only one QB who was statistically better than Mayfield. MVP Aaron Rodgers.

It seemed as if Mayfield had finally shaken the cobwebs left behind from Hue and Freddie. With new footwork, timing, and accuracy, Mayfield beat the Pittsburgh Steelers twice in a row to give Cleveland their first playoff birth and victory since 1994.

Now, four games into his second season with Kevin Stefanski, Mayfield's struggles have resurfaced.

He had a really nice game against Kansas City, an average game against the Texans, and then struggled against the Bears and Vikings.

A bunch of things have happened in this season for Mayfield, already.

First, he lost Jarvis Landry. Say what you will about Rashard Higgins, but Landry has been No. 6's security blanket since Mayfield debuted. Then, he threw an interception when rookie wideout Anthony Schwartz gave up on a route and his shoulder popped out trying to make a tackle. Today, we have confirmation that Mayfield tore his left labrum making a tackle after that interception.

Next, despite a banged up shoulder, Mayfield practiced all week and reintroduced Odell Beckham Jr. in a victory against the Chicago Bears. Mayfield looked alright, but definitely not his usual self.

Baker's Instagram Post Was... Right?

Now, Mayfield's non-throwing shoulder is actually hurt, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The swag and confidence that earned him the No. 1 overall selection in 2018 has turned into a shield of defense.

He's taken to Instagram, reminding everyone how much of a winner he has been his entire life. And by that, he's kind of right.

Mayfield has won at every level. Everyone knows that. But he's been a winner in the NFL, too. He's 26-23 as the starting QB of the Cleveland Browns, a team that went through a 1-31 stretch before his arrival.

The Bottom Line

It's fine to expect more from your franchise quarterback. All fanbases do, besides the two represented by Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady. Browns fans are a passionate bunch of people that have endured more pain and suffering than any in professional sports. Of course, we want more, especially because this team is finally so close.

The Browns are in a tough spot now. Teams know Mayfield is favoring his left shoulder. It has also clearly altered his throwing mechanics. QBs don't just lose accuracy over night.

This isn't an injury that requires rest, either. So playing the pricey backup, Case Keenum, doesn't make a bunch of sense. This is something that could require surgery this offseason.

It was one bad game for Mayfield in Minnesota, his first in a loud dome, by the way. If he bounces back in a big way against a formidable Los Angeles Chargers team, everyone forgets about this whole week. Everyone forgets about the shoulder. Everyone forgets about the Instagram post.

Calling for a change at quarterback is lunacy. Saying that Mayfield "sucks" is outrageous. Calling him inaccurate is factually incorrect.

Just keep finding ways to win, which Mayfield has done his entire life.

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