The Cleveland Browns can breathe a bit easier after each of their top two quarterbacks appear to have escaped serious injuries in Thursday’s preseason game.
Taylor injured his non-throwing hand about nine minutes into the game but was able to return to the contest. Although X-rays were negative, the NFL Network, citing a source, reported that Taylor dislocated the pinky finger on his left hand.
In a posting on his Twitter account Friday, Taylor wrote: “Thanks for the prayers Cleveland. I’m doing well.”
Browns coach Hue Jackson told reporters after the game that he was optimistic that Taylor will be ready for the regular-season opener.
“Anytime your quarterback gets nicked like that, you’re always concerned,” said Jackson, per the Akron Beacon-Journal. “But I think the fact that he was able to go back in the game, that was a good sign. And I know we’ll make sure that we take care of it this week, whatever that is, and get him back to where he needs to be.
“I feel comfortable and confident that he’s going to be OK and that we’ll have him.”
Taylor, acquired in the offseason from the Buffalo Bills, returned to the contest in the first minute of the second quarter and played the remainder of the opening half. He finished 11 of 16 for 65 yards and rushed for five yards on two carries.
“Our medical people said he was fine and he could be out there,” said Jackson. “We would not have put him back out there if he was not. We will check everything tonight and see where he is, but hopefully, everything will be OK.”
Mayfield replaced Taylor after he was injured and guided Cleveland to its only offensive points on a 54-yard field goal by Zane Gonzalez.
However, the prize rookie and Heisman Trophy winner out of Oklahoma provided a scare of his own when he had to be taken to the medical tent in the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a concussion.
Mayfield hit his head on right tackle Shon Coleman’s leg and was cleared by an independent neurologist, but Jackson did not send him back into the game.
“The lineman got backed up into me, so I followed through, hit him and hit the ground,” Mayfield said. “Nothing serious. Doctors are doing their job.”
Mayfield, vying for the backup job with Drew Stanton, completed 8 of 12 passes for 76 yards and an interception. He had three carries for 10 yards and, like Taylor, was sacked twice.
Jackson was happy with the way Mayfield acquitted himself when he had to enter the game abruptly while Taylor was being examined.
“He didn’t blink,” said Jackson. “He was ready to go. We didn’t change anything in our offense. We expected him to make plays and he did.”