Browns' Mayfield has shoulder surgery after rough '21 season

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) watches from the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (Steven Senne/AP)

CLEVELAND -- Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield had successful surgery Wednesday to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, an injury that affected his play and led to a disappointing season in Cleveland.

Mayfield posted a video on social media following the procedure, which was done in Los Angeles.

``Surgery went great,'' Mayfield said in the clip while sitting on a bed with his non-throwing arm in a sling. ``It was a complete success. Had a great medical team. Took care of me and checked that box off to get this fixed, and now it's on the way to the road to recovery.

``This is one of those steps to get back to my true self.''

The operation was performed by Dr. Orr Limpisvasti, the team physician for the Anaheim Ducks who examined Mayfield's shoulder during the season.

Mayfield will need months of rehab, but is expected to be fully recovered by the time the Browns hold offseason workouts -- assuming, of course, he's still with the team.

Mayfield initially was hurt in Week 2 against Houston while trying to make tackle after throwing an interception. He continued to play while wearing a protective harness and then aggravated the injury and sustained a fracture to his shoulder against Arizona on Oct. 17.

Partly because of the injury affecting his throwing mechanics, Mayfield struggled and his uneven play contributed to the Browns (8-9) falling well short of expectations or making the postseason.

After being sacked nine times on Jan. 3 in a loss at Pittsburgh, Mayfield, who threw seven interceptions in his last three games, said he was ``pretty damn beat up'' and decided to skip the season finale.

Mayfield's regression this season has spawned speculation that the Browns may move forward without the 2018 No. 1 overall pick. The team has not approached the QB's agent about a long-term contract extension. He's signed through next season.

Last week, however, both coach Kevin Stefanski and general manager Andrew Berry offered support to Mayfield by saying they expect Mayfield to be the starter in 2022 and to ``bounce back.''

That doesn't mean the team won't explore other options at quarterback via trade of free agency during the offseason, but Berry stressed the team's time with Mayfield gives them faith he'll rebound next season.

``We know his work ethic,'' Berry said. ``We know his drive and we have seen him as a talented passer in this league. We are looking forward to him getting healthy and continuing to make improvements. We expect him to bounce back next year.''

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