No one can question the toughness of Baker Mayfield. The former first-overall pick continues to battle through a shoulder injury that's made it difficult to be as productive as he'd like to be for the Cleveland Browns, but he refuses to concede to the pain. That said, due to a short week following their Week 6 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday and their upcoming matchup with the Denver Broncos on Thursday night, it'll be backup quarterback Case Keenum getting the start in Week 7. Mayfield will have a shot to return to the field in 10 days -- looking to wait until the season is over before he gets his shoulder repaired.
The 26-year-old is reportedly expected to undergo offseason surgery once the 2021 season concludes, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, to fix the torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. Mayfield and the Browns believe he can make it to that point with the proper management, but any setbacks could alter that decision.
Despite his injury, Mayfield is currently enjoying the highest completion percentage of his four-year NFL career (67.1%) and a career-high passer rating as well (97.8). This is without having the luxury of both Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry on the field at the same time for any large stretch of time this season, and it's a testament to Mayfield's talent and evolving decision-making process once he takes the snap.
That said, while he has only three interceptions through six games, the Browns are 3-3 heading into Week 7 and Mayfield has only six passing touchdowns -- clearly hampered by his injury. He's one of the next young NFL quarterbacks to potentially break the bank in the next few months, and Mayfield is doing his best to show the Browns he's the QB of the future in Cleveland.