BEREA, Ohio (AP)Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield will start Sunday against Pittsburgh, returning after missing one game with an injured left shoulder that will require management for the rest of this season.
Mayfield practiced for the third straight day on Friday and coach Kevin Stefanski announced afterward that the 26-year-old will play.
Mayfield has a torn labrum and fracture in his nonthrowing shoulder. He was cleared by team doctors Thursday night and received the go-ahead from a second medical group.
He didn’t play last week – ending his streak of 53 consecutive starts – in a win over Denver. The rest improved Mayfield’s range of motion and reduced inflammation, allowing him to strengthen his shoulder.
Mayfield has been fitted with a new stabilizing harness to help prevent his shoulder from popping out.
Earlier this week, Mayfield said he would keep playing as long as he wasn’t hurting the Browns (4-3) or their chances to win.
Mayfield first injured his shoulder while trying to make a tackle last month against Houston. He then suffered a tuberosity fracture when he bent his arm back trying to protect his fall against Arizona on Oct. 17.
Veteran backup Case Keenum started for Mayfield last week and led the Browns to a 17-14 win.
The Browns will also have star running back Nick Chubb (calf) and starting right tackle Jack Conklin (knee) back this week. Those returns will significantly help Mayfield as Conklin will be lined up against Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt, who has seven sacks.
Cleveland’s defense won’t have cornerback Denzel Ward, who suffered a hamstring injury against the Broncos and didn’t practice this week.
The Browns have been dealing with injuries up and down their roster and their coaching staff also took a hit.
Running backs coach Stump Mitchell will miss Sunday’s game and potentially several weeks to tend to a medical issue related to a previous knee injury.
Coaching assistant Ryan Cordell will fill in for Mitchell with help from senior offensive assistant Kevin Rogers.
Mitchell played for nine seasons in the NFL. He has helped Cleveland develop the league’s top running attack led by Chubb, Kareem Hunt and third-stringer D’Ernest Johnson, who rushed for 146 yards last week in his first start.
Hunt is on injured reserve with a calf issue and will miss his second game this week.
More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL