Baker Mayfield tore the labrum in his left shoulder in Week 2 while trying to make a tackle after an interception. He reinjured it in Week 6 on a hit from Cardinals edge rusher J.J. Watt.
Mayfield played through it with the help of a harness, starting 12 games with the injury. Maybe he shouldn’t have, because surely the numbers he put up in 2021 and the cap number he had for 2022 led to the Browns’ decision to attempt an upgrade with the trade for Deshaun Watson.
Mayfield’s shoulder injury was one of the topics he addressed during his introductory news conference in Charlotte on Tuesday.
“I’m not one for excuses. I was too stubborn to come out (of games) anyway,” Mayfield said of his shoulder injury, via Scott Patsko of cleveland.com.
Mayfield, who had the fewest passing yards (3,010), the fewest touchdowns (17) and the lowest passer rating (83.1) in his career, underwent surgery on his shoulder Jan. 19. He said the shoulder is fully healed, but he has tweaked his throwing motion this offseason.
He called his previous throwing motion “extremely violent.”
“I haven’t thrown the ball this well in a long while. My motion is a little different,” Mayfield said.
With Mayfield now fully healthy, Panthers General Manager Scott Fitterer expects to see the “best version” of Mayfield competing with Sam Darnold for the starting job.
“It wasn’t just the shoulder injury,” Fitterer said. “He also had a foot injury, a rib injury. He was really banged up last season. I think Baker’s really confident and comfortable. . . . I think we get the best version of him going forward.”