Neither Mayfield nor Kevin Stefanski expect a second missed start, though the fourth-year quarterback said (via cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, on Twitter) this is probably the most beat up he has been in his football career. Mayfield is not practicing Wednesday.
Mayfield escaped his latest injury without structural damage, suffering a knee contusion in the Browns’ loss to the Patriots. Mayfield’s shoulder issue did require one missed game, a narrow Week 7 win over the Broncos, but he has otherwise played through that issue — one that will almost certainly require offseason surgery. The Browns face the 0-8-1 Lions in Week 11.
As for Mayfield’s backfield, Nick Chubb remains on the Browns’ reserve/COVID-19 list. The Pro Bowl back is vaccinated and can return by submitting negative tests two days apart. Stefanski added Kareem Hunt will not return in Week 11, despite being eligible to do so. The fifth-year back has missed four games with his calf injury but is moving closer to returning. Demetric Felton also remains on Cleveland’s COVID list. The Browns activated running back John Kelly from their virus list.
The Browns have played without both Chubb and Hunt twice this season. D’Ernest Johnson was the last man standing in both games, and the ex-Alliance of American Football performer would start against the Lions if Chubb is not activated by Saturday afternoon. In his third Browns season, Johnson is averaging 5.3 yards per carry.