CLEVELAND, Ohio – It hasn’t been lost to the Steelers that Baker Mayfield suffered a rib injury in Sunday’s 32-23 win over the Colts, and is in pain as the big showdown approaches from this weekend in Pittsburgh.
“I’m not a doctor,” Heyward said Wednesday during a video call with reporters from the Steelers. “I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I know how bruised he is. But at the end of the day, I’m just trying to get a good punishment.
Mayfield was limited in practice on Wednesday and admitted he was still sore. He did not throw the ball in individual drills in the first 10 minutes of practice open to media, but reiterated he was confident he will play the game.
After the victory over the Colts, he said, “Mom didn’t raise a joke”. He might need a bulletproof vest, but he’ll be there.
“Yeah, kind of all right side up,” Mayfield said. “It’s all intertwined right there. I’m lucky with the way I landed that it wasn’t directly over my shoulder – a bit rolled over a bit. Obviously, It would have been a lot worse. “
The 4-0 Steelers have done a lot of pain this season, averaging five sacks per game. TJ Watt leads the team with 4.5 sacks and 13 hits. Stephon Tuitt is second with 3.5 sacks and 10 hits.
“As a defenseman you want to make sure a quarterback feels like you,” Heyward said. “You want to make sure he’s thinking about the rush. All these other things, his wounds, so be it. We are playing a physical game. He’s going to come and try to be a warrior for his team, but it’s up to us to make him think about that injury during the day.
Mayfield, who has only been sacked seven times this season behind his big O-line, knows what he and the 4-1 Browns are up against.
“It’s a great test for us,” he said. “Another great defense. They bring a physical challenge. They bring muddy pockets. They will hit you. They are trying to impose their will. This is what our division is. . We have to play this ball, match that energy and surpass it. They’re obviously extremely talented, but the Steelers’ defense mindset is that they play together and they play together. This is the challenge we face.
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