Report: Baker Mayfield Not Cleared for Browns vs. Raiders; Nick Mullens to Start

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 20, 2021

CLEVELAND, OHIO - DECEMBER 12: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns reacts during the first half of the game against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 12, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is reportedly going to miss Monday's game against the Las Vegas Raiders at FirstEnergy Stadium because of the NFL's COVID-19 protocols.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported both Mayfield and Browns backup Case Keenum weren't able clear protocols, so Nick Mullens will start at QB against the Raiders.

Baker Mayfield's wife, Emily, later posted on Twitter that her husband did what he could to be cleared for the game:

Emily (Wilkinson) Mayfield @emilywmayfield6

🧡🤎 <a href="https://t.co/Ykxvb3n3l3">pic.twitter.com/Ykxvb3n3l3</a>

Mayfield has battled injuries for the majority of the 2021 season, namely a left shoulder issue that will require surgery in the offseason. He's also played through heel, groin and knee problems. 

The 26-year-old has posted 2,603 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions, completing 62.8 percent of his passes in 12 games.

With the injuries and some inconsistent play has come criticism. But as Mayfield told NFL Network's Kurt Warner in early December, that noise hasn't only been external:

NFL GameDay @NFLGameDay

"It's night and day compared to where I was heading into last week" <a href="https://twitter.com/bakermayfield?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@bakermayfield</a> sat down with <a href="https://twitter.com/kurt13warner?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@kurt13warner</a> to talk about how he and the <a href="https://twitter.com/Browns?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Browns</a> will finish up the season 👇 <a href="https://t.co/YBPgVDjVPM">pic.twitter.com/YBPgVDjVPM</a>

"It comes down to trying to find an even balance of listening to those opinions around you that truly matter—friends, family, teammates—and that's been the tricky part about this year. [It] has been a lot of internal things. It hasn't been just outside noise. I have to be myself and try to do my job at 100 percent. The guys that truly know me understand that. We need to take care of business in the building, and I need to be myself for these guys."

From the Hue Jackson days to the fallout with Odell Beckham Jr., there haven't been many dull moments for Mayfield in Cleveland. And this year's injuries haven't made things any easier. 

Meanwhile, Mullens will make his first start for the Browns after signing with the team in September. He made 16 starts across four years with the San Francisco 49ers (2017-20).

Kyle Lauletta, who was signed off the Jacksonville Jaguars' practice squad Friday, will handle the backup role Monday.