Mayfield tested positive for the coronavirus Dec. 15 but could not navigate the return protocol until Friday. Still, he will be expected to start against the Packers.
The Browns also activated backup Case Keenum, cornerback A.J. Green and defensive lineman Ifeadi Odengibo from the virus list for their Green Bay trip. Cleveland’s loss against Las Vegas, in a game Nick Mullens started with a host of backups at other spots, significantly diminished its playoff chances. The team was without 10 starters against the Raiders.
Some Browns remain on the virus list, including center J.C. Tretter and left tackle Jedrick Wills. Still, the Browns will be in better shape to face the Packers compared to the squad they were forced to deploy Monday.
Mayfield is still dealing with the left shoulder fracture he suffered earlier this season. The former No. 1 overall pick has dealt with other injury issues this season, but the shoulder problem will require surgery in 2022. Some of Mayfield’s numbers are well off his 2020 pace. He has thrown just 13 touchdown passes. While his completion percentage (62.8) is identical to his full-season 2020 mark and yards-per-attempt figure (7.6) up from last year, QBR slots Mayfield 25th. The metric placed the Browns starter 10th in 2020, putting him on track for a potential extension this year. Those talks have since been tabled, with a new deal unlikely until next year at least.