CLEVELAND, Ohio — In today’s edition of Hey, Mary Kay! I answer questions about Nick Chubb, Baker Mayfield and more.
Hey, Mary Kay: When will Nick Chubb return from sprained kneee? — Garry Bay, Cleveland, Ohio
Hey, Garry: Chubb will be re-evaluated this week and possibly return to practice at least on a limited basis on Wednesday. If all goes well, he could play next Sunday against the Texans, which would be about a seven-week recovery for Chubb. The club is hopeful that’s the case. The Browns have missed Chubb, but they also faced two of the best run defenses in the NFL in the Colts and Steelers the first two weeks he was out. Kareem Hunt has held down the fort and run well in his absence despite a rib injury. But the 1-2 punch of Chubb and Hunt will be crucial in the stretch run.
Hey, Mary Kay: What do you think Andrew Berry will do with Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. after this year? The great QBs in the NFL always find a way to make the team look very good. It seems like it’s the other way around when you look at Baker Mayfield and the Browns. The Browns have so much talent and it looks like it’s being wasted. Do you think the Browns are being held back because of Mayfield’s mediocre play on the field? Thank you for your hard work! #playoffs — Jeffrey Lerner, Avon, Ohio
Hey, Jeffrey: I think they’ll have a good handle on that after this season. Mayfield has strung together two encouraging performances, and must continue trending upward to prove to the Browns he deserves either a long-term extension or the guaranteed option for 2022 picked up. The Browns are built to contend for a championship over the next couple of years, and need a quarterback who can get them there.
They’re hoping he demonstrates over the second half of the season and playoffs that he’s their man. If not, they’ll have to start thinking about their next QB in the offseason. As for Beckham, that also depends in large part on how the season goes. If Mayfield is their guy, perhaps they’ll consider trading Beckham, who has a $12.791 million injury guarantee for next season. Or they’ll keep Beckham and hope the two work better together next season when Mayfield has another year in the system. If they look for a new QB, Beckham could remain a key part of the future. As it stands, both Mayfield and Beckham can be back, both can be gone, or one or the other can remain, and the answer should be clear after the season.
Hey, Mary Kay: How many drops did the wide receivers and tight ends have against the Raiders? — Jarod Gray, Spiro, Oklahoma
Hey, Jarod: I had them down for five drops, plus one strip of Harrison Bryant after a catch on the opening drive. Jarvis Landry, who’s been struggling with cracked ribs, dropped three passes, including one in the end zone that hit the ground after he bobbled it. David Njoku dropped a third-down pass that hit him in the hands with the Browns trailing 13-6 in the fourth quarter. It was the opposite of the week before in Cincinnati, when the receivers and tight ends made one great reception after another en route to a record 21 straight completions for Mayfield and a 5-TD victory. If the receivers and tight ends hung on, it’s a different ballgame.
Hey, Mary Kay: When will Wyatt Teller return? — Sean N., Chicago
Hey, Sean: Teller was on the bikes during Wednesday’s practice, which means he’s getting close to returning from his strained calf. As is the case with Chubb, Teller will be re-evaluated this week and could be back on the field next Sunday. A return of both Teller and Chubb would be a huge boost for the running game.
Hey, Mary Kay: What can the Browns do about their problems at safety this season? — Ben Jones, Macon, Ga.
Hey, Ben: Ronnie Harrison has played very well the past few games, and the Browns expect continued improvement as he gets acclimated to the system. He’s ranked the ninth-best safety in the NFL, according to profootballfocus.com. Andrew Sendejo was supposed to be more of a special teams player and role player at safety this season, but was pressed into full-time duty after Grant Delpit suffered the season-ending ruptured Achilles. Karl Joseph and Sheldrick Redwine could see more playing time opposite Harrison in the safety rotation in the coming weeks. They’ll have to make the best of it and hope that Harrison can carry the position.
Hey, Mary Kay: When will Odell Beckham Jr. be back from his ACL surgery? — Scott B., Cleveland, Ohio
Hey, Scott: Beckham is undergoing the surgery on Tuesday, and the recovery period from a torn ACL is usually about 9-12 months. It means he could be back practicing at least on a limited basis in training camp next summer and possibly even be on the field for the opener in September if he’s a fast healer. It’s a shame for Beckham, who played hurt all last season and was making a terrific comeback this year from core muscle surgery in January.
New Browns face masks for sale: Here’s where you can buy Cleveland Browns-themed face coverings for coronavirus protection for adults and youth, including a single mask ($14.99) and a 3-pack ($24.99). All NFL proceeds donated to CDC Foundation.
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