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Browns QB Baker Mayfield will miss Thursday’s game because of a shoulder injury

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has played the past four weeks with a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has played the past four weeks with a torn labrum in his left shoulder.Ron Schwane/Associated Press

Baker Mayfield had to surrender to the pain.

Cleveland’s starting quarterback, who has played the past four weeks with a torn labrum in his left shoulder, will sit out Thursday’s game against the Broncos and backup Case Keenum will start.

“I feel very ready. I’ve been ready,” said Keenum, who hasn't started since 2019 with Washington. “You can say, ‘You don’t have to get ready if you stay ready’ and I’ve been ready since I got here.”

The Browns (3-3) announced the switch Wednesday, ending speculation about whether Mayfield would try to push through an injury to his non-throwing shoulder that he suffered last month and has worsened in recent weeks.

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“Case Keenum will be our starter tomorrow night and we have full confidence in him to lead us and do the things necessary to put us in position to win,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said. “Baker fought really hard to play, he’s a competitor and obviously wants to be out there but just couldn’t make it on a short week.

"We know he will continue to do everything in his power to return as quickly as possible.”

Mayfield was limited in practice Tuesday, when he said he still expected to play. However, with this being a short week, there wasn’t enough time for the swelling in his shoulder to go down and it was decided early Wednesday for him to rest, ending Mayfield’s streak of 53 consecutive starts for Cleveland.

The loss of him means the Browns' entire starting backfield has been wiped out by injuries.

Baker Mayfield looks on during the late stages of Sunday's loss to the Cardinals.
Baker Mayfield looks on during the late stages of Sunday's loss to the Cardinals.David Richard/Associated Press

Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, the NFL’s top running back tandem, will sit out with calf injuries. Cleveland could also be missing star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. because of a shoulder injury, and starting offensive tackles Jack Conklin (knee) and Jedrick Wills Jr. (ankle) haven’t practiced this week and could be game-time decisions.

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Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has a quadriceps injury in addition to his sore left foot and is questionable for the game.

Texans release DE Mercilus

The Texans released veteran defensive end Whitney Mercilus.

He was the 26th overall pick in the 2012 draft and spent his entire career with the Texans. Mercilus was one of the longest- tenured players on the team after most of the team’s stars have been traded or released in recent years.

Mercilus appeared in 134 games for the Texans, which is the third most in franchise history. He has 348 tackles in his career and ranks second in franchise history behind J.J. Watt with 57 sacks.