Baker Mayfield shows questionable decision making during pandemic

Cleveland Browns Baker Mayfield (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns Baker Mayfield (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Baker Mayfield has a lot of expectations on his shoulders and to help meet those he’s inviting teammates down to practice with him despite the pandemic.

Baker Mayfield is attempting to get a head start on the 2020 training camp schedule by inviting current Cleveland Brown teammates down to Austin, TX to train. This according to a report from Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. He’s not the only one reporting things as Jake Trotter is claiming Austin Hooper, David Njoku, Damion Ratley, and Rashard Higgins are all making the trek down south. Due to offseason surgeries, Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham will not be joining them. The move is a bold one for the captain of the offense, as it shows the world that he’s coming into his third season as laser-focused as possible.

It also shows that he’s not taking a global pandemic seriously at all. Now, he may have waited on doing this until things calmed down but the thing is, they haven’t. It’s still widely preached that traveling should be minimized as much as possible. That many states are ending their shelter in place orders and advisements prematurely. He’s putting himself and his teammates at risk by traveling to one location, only to have to go back to Cleveland eventually.

These men aren’t all living in Cleveland either, so they’re going from their respective homes to Austin, then back to their homes (presumably) then to Cleveland. The idea would have made more sense if they all went to one location in Cleveland and lived in that space to minimize getting infected or getting someone else infected. That way when (or if) the season starts, they don’t need to amplify their risk of infection by traveling again.

This isn’t a debate. Mayfield is putting his teammates and himself in danger. There are real reasons why the AHL is done for the year, why the MLB may not have a 2020 season and why after two months the NBA still hasn’t decided to return or not. These risks exist and they are real.

Having teammates flying or driving all around the country so you can play catch isn’t the best idea. It may seem like a great leader-like move from Mayfield, especially to incorporate freshly signed Hooper, but it’s actually extremely shortsighted.

Sure, there’s a chance they don’t get sick. There’s a good chance if they get sick, they’ll be asymptomatic. There’s also a good chance that if they get sick they can give it to someone else. There’s also a chance that they do in fact present symptoms. Lot of chances being taken here. I understand people “not wanting to let the pandemic define their lives” but it already has and it will continue to do so until there is a vaccine for it.

The Spanish Flu lasted for nearly three years. Not three months. Pandemics aren’t over quick. Patience is a key and a virtue for a reason.

Anyone who thinks the NFL won’t be affected to some degree by the current situation is in denial, or just stupid. Having players travel before they have to is reckless. I hope for everyone’s sake, these players, their families, friends, and those they come in close contact with are fine. That this doesn’t become an outbreak within the Browns organization. That no one is deathly ill and that all players get to and fro with no issues. That the season starts on time and that everyone is healthy because if not, there will be hell to pay.

People forgave Rudy Gobert because, at the time, the severity of this thing was minimal. No one knew what to expect. It was simply ignorance on his part. They won’t be as forgiving if Mayfield’s practice gets people ill.

If just one player from this group tests positive for COVID-19 and ends up falling seriously ill, the blame is going to be obvious. Mayfield should have thought this through and not been so cavalier about it. Sometimes the best way to prepare is to do nothing.

Next. Cleveland Browns: 4 biggest questions heading into the 2020 season. dark