Mayfield out Thursday with torn labrum, could return Week 8
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Baker Mayfield out Thursday with torn labrum, could return Week 8 vs. Steelers

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield vowed Tuesday to play in Thursday's prime-time game against the Denver Broncos despite the fact he re-injured his left (non-throwing) shoulder versus the Arizona Cardinals this past Sunday. He ultimately confirmed he's been playing through a "completely torn" labrum since Week 2 on Sept. 19. 

The situation changed Wednesday, however, when the Browns announced backup Case Keenum will start in place of the injured Mayfield on Thursday night. That news came shortly after NFL insider Josina Anderson tweeted that the signal-caller's issue may be worse than is publicly known: 

Additionally, ESPN's Jake Trotter notes that team doctors and an orthopedic surgeon for the NHL's Anaheim Ducks advised Mayfield against playing Thursday. All things being equal, one couldn't be blamed for assuming the 26-year-old may miss more than just four quarters of action. 

That may not be the case. 

Trotter also reports Mayfield could be cleared to return to the lineup as soon as Week 8 against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers on Halloween afternoon "if the inflammation goes down and allows the quarterback to return to strengthening the shoulder to stabilize it." 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport later said similar: 

It's unclear if the result of Thursday's contest will at all impact how Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski handles Mayfield moving forward, but Cleveland's QB1 can now at least try to prepare to be ready for what could prove to be a pivotal home matchup against Pittsburgh on the final day of October. 

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