Browns' Baker Mayfield on Facing Bengals Amid Injury: 'Mama Didn't Raise a Wuss'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2019

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 01:  Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns walks off the field after losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-13 on December 1, 2019 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said Wednesday he expects to play in Sunday's Week 14 game against the Cincinnati Bengals despite a hand injury. 

"Mama didn't raise a wuss," Mayfield told reporters.

Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens also said he's planning on Mayfield taking the field to face the Bengals, but the quarterback didn't attempt any passes in the portion of Wednesday's practice open to the media, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.

The first overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft suffered the injury when his hand struck the helmet of Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree in Sunday's 20-13 loss.

Mayfield hasn't been able to parlay a strong finish to his rookie year into much success in 2019. He's completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,917 yards with 15 touchdowns and 14 interceptions while guiding Cleveland to a 5-7 record.

His 79.9 passer rating ranks last among 33 qualified quarterbacks, though his ESPN Total QBR (51.8) is a little more favorable, placing him 19th at the position.

Garrett Gilbert would step into the starting lineup if Mayfield is sidelined. Eric Dungey would likely be called up from the practice squad to fill the backup role on a short-term basis.

The Browns possess virtually no margin for error if they want to make a late surge into the playoffs. They do have a favorable schedule down the stretch with two games against the 1-11 Bengals and a clash with the 3-8-1 Arizona Cardinals. A matchup with the 10-2 Baltimore Ravens also looms, though.

Despite his up-and-down season, having Mayfield available for the season's final month is likely the only chance to secure the four-game winning streak they need to reach 9-7.