Baker Mayfield is attempting to play through a completely torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder, which will likely have to be repaired in the offseason. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cleveland Browns quarterback is expected to need surgery on his left shoulder once the season is over.
Mayfield's injury woes started in Week 2 when he dislocated his left shoulder. An awkward landing in Week 6 re-aggravated the injury, which required Mayfield to wear a sling during the postgame media availability. With just four days between Week 6 and Week 7's Thursday night start, the Browns decided that Mayfield wasn't able to play and elected to start backup Case Keenum against the Denver Broncos.
Can Mayfield play through the injury?
Mayfield has said he plans to play through the injury as much as he can. If he'd injured his throwing shoulder there'd be no chance, but since he's hurt his non-throwing shoulder, it's possible he could gut it out.
However, Rapoport pointed out an important factor that could impact Mayfield's plan to play through the pain: sustaining further damage to his injured shoulder. He already re-aggravated the injury once, which is why he's not playing against the Broncos on Thursday.
Mayfield is tough — Thursday will be the first time he's ever missed an NFL game due to an injury — but unless he wraps himself in bubble wrap or the banged-up offensive line turns into a completely protective wall, he's going to continue to take hits. If the damage becomes more extensive, it will likely become more difficult for him to continue playing.