CLEVELAND — Baker Mayfield had to surrender to the pain.

Cleveland’s starting quarterback, who has played the past four weeks with a torn labrum in his left shoulder, will sit out Thursday’s game against the Denver Broncos and backup Case Keenum will start.

The Browns (3-3) announced the switch on Wednesday, ending speculation about whether Mayfield would try to push through an injury to his non-throwing shoulder that he suffered last month and has worsened in recent weeks.

“Case Keenum will be our starter tomorrow night and we have full confidence in him to lead us and do the things necessary to put us in position to win,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said. “Baker fought really hard to play, he’s a competitor and obviously wants to be out there but just couldn’t make it on a short week.

“We know he will continue to do everything in his power to return as quickly as possible.”

Mayfield was limited in practice on Tuesday, when he said he still expected to play. However, with this being a short week, there wasn’t enough time for the swelling in his shoulder to go down and it was decided early Wednesday for him to rest, ending Mayfield’s streak of 53 consecutive starts for Cleveland.


The loss of him means the Browns’ entire starting backfield has been wiped out by injuries. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, the NFL’s top running back tandem, also will sit out with calf injuries. Cleveland could be missing star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. as well due to a shoulder injury, and starting offensive tackles Jack Conklin (knee) and Jedrick Wills Jr. (ankle) haven’t practiced this week and could be game-time decisions.

JETS: New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley is dealing with a hamstring injury that could sideline him for the team’s game Sunday at New England.

Coach Robert Saleh said Wednesday that Mosley was hurt late in New York’s 27-20 loss to Atlanta in London on Oct. 10. He wasn’t participating in practice and will be evaluated each day to determine if he’ll be able to play for the 1-4 Jets.

“He’s still hopeful for the game,” Saleh said.

Mosley is a team captain who leads the Jets with 45 overall tackles after missing most of the past two seasons. A groin/core muscle injury limited him to two games in 2019 in his first season with New York, and Mosley opted out last season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Safety Marcus Maye was practicing and is expected to play this week after missing two games with an ankle injury while tight end Tyler Kroft, who missed the game at London, was sitting out with a back injury. He previously appeared on the injury report with a rib ailment.


WASHINGTON: Longtime kicker Dustin Hopkins was released and Chris Blewitt was signed as his replacement.

Hopkins was in his seventh season with the team but seemed on the hot seat with Coach Ron Rivera for several weeks. He missed a 42-yard field goal attempt in a loss last weekend to the Kansas City Chiefs. That was just his second missed field goal in 14 attempts this season, but Hopkins also missed two extra points Oct. 3 at Atlanta.

Blewitt was signed to the practice squad this week after trying out with other kickers. The 26-year-old is a Washington-area native who played at the University of Pittsburgh and has yet to take the field in an NFL game. Washington visits the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

THE NFL IS spending $6.2 million to help expand programs to prevent or treat problem gambling across the country.

The league is launching a responsible betting initiative aimed at getting fans to set limits on their wagers, understand the risks of betting and know where to get help if things get out of hand. It is partnering with the National Council on Problem Gambling to improve the group’s nationwide help line, create new treatment programs and expand existing ones, and educate football fans who gamble on how to do so responsibly.

A three-year effort will include in-game messaging, social media outreach, broadcast, print and in-stadium messaging. Some of it will target people who are too young to legally gamble but may feel tempted to do so.


49ERS: The San Francisco 49ers are optimistic starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo can return this week from a right calf injury but don’t expect backup Trey Lance back for another week.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo would be limited at practice after missing one game with the injury and is on target to play Sunday night against Indianapolis.

Lance sprained his left knee when he started in place of Garoppolo on Oct. 10 at Arizona and hadn’t healed enough during the bye week to practice.

BRONCOS: Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has a quadriceps injury in addition to his sore left foot and is questionable for the game at Cleveland on Thursday night.

SEAHAWKS: The Seattle Seahawks claimed Jacob Eason off waivers, adding another quarterback to the roster while Russell Wilson is out following finger surgery.

Eason was waived by the Indianapolis Colts on Tuesday.

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