Baker Mayfield is the skipper of a Cleveland Browns ship with big plans to sail into unchartered waters this year. If he's healthy and productive, this side has a chance to compete for a Super Bowl.
However, he is not healthy and his productivity is dropping rapidly.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport delivered a bit of bad news to the franchise's fans this morning by reporting that Mayfield has a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder.
Obviously, in-season surgery is not a recipe for a player's success or availability so the fact that it's not required is a bright silver lining. Yet tears can tear further and one could make a decent case that the injury has already affected the quarterback's productivity.
[Mayfield] completed 75 percent of his passes in Week One and 90 percent of his passes in Week Two, the game when he suffered the injury. But in Week Three he completed just 61 percent of his passes and in Week Four he was down to 45 percent.
Uh oh. Mayfield's yards per attempt has dropped in each week, from 11.4 in Week 1 to 7.9 in Week 3 and 4.7 in Week 4. It's not time to panic yet but the shoulder harness will be a constant reminder of just how tenuous the long-suffering team's hopes and dreams are this year — in a way that doesn't have anything to do with Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson or Josh Allen.