Browns QB practices again, still unclear if he faces Steelers

Cleveland Browns

Mayfield sat out last week’s win over Denver with a torn labrum and fracture in his non-throwing shoulder.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Cleveland

AP/Ron Schwane

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Browns starting quarterback Baker Mayfield practiced for the second straight day — and tested his injured shoulder while wearing pads and a new harness — as he tries to get ready to play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Mayfield sat out last week’s win over Denver with a torn labrum and fracture in his non-throwing shoulder.

He made it through Wednesday’s practice without any difficulty, and Mayfield was again on the field Thursday — and the only player in shoulder pads — as the Browns (4-3) continue preparing for the rival Steelers (4-3).

After stretching, Mayfield had two trainers help him slip on his shoulder pads and a stabilizing harness. He threw several passes with plenty of velocity and looked fine while delivering throws on roll-outs during the portion of practice open to reporters.

There’s nothing wrong with Mayfield’s right arm. The concern is his pain tolerance and if he takes another hit to his damaged shoulder.

Earlier, offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said Mayfield “looked good” Wednesday, when he got most of the starter’s reps over backup Case Keenum.

“He’ll go today for sure and then we’ll determine later in the week how he’s feeling,” Van Pelt said. “Obviously, it’s up to the doctors and the medical staff to determine whether he’s ready to go or not.”

Mayfield practiced early last week and intended to play against the Broncos, but couldn’t because of swelling, which limited his range of motion. Coach Kevin Stefanski ruled him out a day before the Denver game.

The 26-year-old QB initially hurt his shoulder on Sept. 21, played inconsistently for three weeks and then made the injury worse on Oct. 17, when he fell awkwardly and suffered a fracture to his humerus bone.

Van Pelt indicated that Thursday was an important step in determining if Mayfield will start or Keenum will replace him again.

“I think he’s feeling OK right now,” Van Pelt said. “It’s just whether or not it’s healed up enough this week or not.”

Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry, who has been dealing with knee injuries, admires Mayfield’s determination to play.

“He’s been fighting to get back, trying to do everything possible, literally, to get back and it was good to see him back out there on the practice field, moving around, throwing the ball around and still taking it day by day.

“Obviously, it’s still an ongoing process of getting him feeling better, getting a lot of us feeling better but he’s handling it the right way. Like a pro.”

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