By TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Baker Mayfield’s non-throwing shoulder is damaged.
The Browns quarterback is playing with a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder that will not require surgery at this time, a person familiar with the injury told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Mayfield will continue to start as long as the injury doesn’t worsen, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
It’s possible Mayfield could play the remainder of the season with the injury and then undergo a procedure.
Mayfield hurt his shoulder while tackling Houston safety Justin Reid after throwing an interception against the Texans on Sept. 19. He led the NFL in completion rate after two games (81.6%), but has dropped to 65.5%.
Last week, Mayfield was unusually inaccurate, completing just 15 of 33 passes in a win over Minnesota. On Wednesday, he disclosed he’s been wearing a harness on the shoulder and added “it shouldn’t” be bothering his passing ability.
But the disclosure of the tear could explain some of Mayfield’s uneven play the past two weeks — wins over Chicago and Minnesota.
Earlier this week, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said he hasn’t noticed Mayfield being affected by the injury but didn’t provide any details of its severity. Stefanski is not scheduled to meet with reporters Thursday.
NFL Network was first to report Mayfield’s torn labrum.
Mayfield has not missed a game snap or practice since getting hurt, so the Browns (3-1) have not listed him on recent injury reports.
Cleveland visits the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. isn’t surprised Mayfield is continuing to play through any pain.
“You would expect that from him,” said Beckham, who added he’s dealt with a similar injury for years. “He’s not going to sit there and complain about it and do all these other things. He’s just going to go out there and play.”
Browns linebacker Anthony Walker Jr., who returned to practice Wednesday after missing three weeks with a hamstring injury, said Mayfield’s grit is infectious.
“Toughness,” Walker said. “I’m not going to do my T.O. (Terrell Owens), ‘that’s my quarterback,’ but for real, that’s how I feel. Him sucking it up every day for us, as a quarterback, can take a hit every play or has to throw the ball in so much pain, everything like that.
“I’m over here complaining about a little nick and bruise over here, but to see him out there every day, no complaints, nothing, just comes out to work every day. When you have a quarterback like that, a leader like that, it makes you want to play a little harder.”
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