The injury to Baker Mayfield is why the Browns need to carry 3 QBs

The Cleveland Browns may be without Baker Mayfield on Sunday as he continues to deal with a moderate rib injury that has limited him in practice.

It’s still very possible that Case Keenum could start for the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, that is if Baker Mayfield’s bruising on his ribs doesn’t subside enough to allow the team’s franchise quarterback to get back on the field. The injury has proven difficult for Mayfield to work through, even causing him to have issues throwing the ball, simply due to how the body rotates when the act of throwing is underway. If the Browns go into the Pittsburgh game with Keenum and Mayfield on standby, if Mayfield’s available at all, the third quarterback on the depth chart is Odell Beckham Jr.

That’s not something anyone should be excited about.

The Browns had a third-string quarterback in Garrett Gilbert but the team left him on the practice squad. After the Dak Prescott injury, the Cowboys came calling and signed Gilbert up. Now the Browns have no true third-string option. An issue that was warned about after before the season started. Now Brown is facing a potential nightmare situation. If Mayfield can’t go, and Keenum does, what happens if Keenum gets hurt? Mayfield didn’t roll his ankle or slip on his driveway to get hurt, he got hurt playing behind this offensive line. Jedrick Wills got beat, and Justin Houston smashed into Mayfield like a bull on parade. The idea this could happen to Keenum is real and should be taken very seriously.

This can absolutely happen to Keenum. Maybe even more so, as Mayfield is a far better athlete at this point in their careers and Mayfield is an average athlete at best. Keenum is the proverbial sitting duck back there. To even compound things even worse in this nightmare scenario, the emergency QB, Beckham, may not play either due to an illness. His emergency backup? Jarvis Landry, who’s dealing with a hip issue and could find himself sitting as well.

The Browns may not even have their emergency backups for Pittsburgh.

Maybe the best thing to do is see if the Steelers will lend out Mason Rudolph to the Browns for the game. Steelers fans are well aware of his tendency to avoid throwing it to Pittsburgh players.