Myth No. 1: Baker Mayfield is an injury risk
Football is a violent game and everyone assumes a risk of getting injured. Most quarterbacks this side of Brett Favre miss time due to injury and very likely at some point in his career Baker Mayfield will have some sort of injury that will cause him to miss time. It happens.
But the wise old heads in the national media are certain that Baker Mayfield is too delicate to play with the big boys in the AFC North and will get hurt more often than adults like Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson and Ben Roethlisberger.
However, the numbers say that Mayfield does not pose an unacceptable injury risk, especially compared to other quarterbacks in the division. He has not missed a game due to injury since his freshman year at Texas Tech. He had 40 consecutive starts at Oklahoma.
In the NFL, he sat and watched for two games, came in for one game as a reliever in game three, and since then has reeled off 47 consecutive starts including two playoff games. That’s a total of 87 consecutive starts without a miss. Plus he has a very good offensive line to look after his well-being. At some point you have to say he probably is durable, and his situation in the Cleveland offense is a good one.
Around the AFC North, if you were an insurance company creating policies for each team, you might assign a slightly higher risk to Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Burrow due to recent injury history and less effective pass protection in both cases.
Burrow took a pounding last season even before he got injured. Roethlisberger’s quick release allows him to avoid taking too much damage. Lamar Jackson takes more hits than everyone else, but he is the most rugged. There is reason to be optimistic that the job of quarterback in the AFC North is survivable, but it is a rough neighborhood, that’s for sure.
Knock on wood, not to jinx anyone, but the injury risk in Cleveland does not look to be any higher than elsewhere in the AFC North, and it is probably lower. But good luck to all players who play this game.
It’s the hardest game in the world and it is very rough, and everyone has to accept that although every effort will be made to make it as safe as possible, players are bound to get hurt on occasion.