Browns notes: Baker Mayfield seeks consistency from officials on helmet hits

Safety Damarious Randall ready to return after sitting out last week

Daryl Ruiter
November 07, 2018 - 5:57 pm

© Ken Blaze/Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

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Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Baker Mayfield continues to be perplexed by how the NFL officiates hits to quarterbacks, especially helmet-to-helmet hits.

Mayfield was forced from last Sunday’s game late in the third quarter so he could be checked for a concussion after Chiefs safety Ron Parker hit him in the head with his helmet after defensive tackle Chris Jones had already bear-hugged him for a sack and a loss of 13 on second-and-goal from the 10.

“I was more frustrated they took me out of the game,” Mayfield said. “They are protecting me and they are doing their job. So ultimately, what can I complain about? They are doing their job.

“I think when it comes down to all of that, there is a lot of criticism on the helmet-to-helmet stuff, because they are trying to find the consistency. With each referee, they are all different how they see those hits and they see it in action.”

Mayfield tried to remain in the game and waive off the medical staff, to no avail.

The NFL has placed an independent spotter in the press box to look for contact that warrants a concussion check, and the hit on Mayfield apparently met the criteria because he was quickly pulled off for an exam.

“Yeah, I guess that’s the new rule,” Mayfield said. “I’ve got to come off the field for a checkup.”

Mayfield quickly returned to the game after missing three plays, but the officials didn’t throw a flag for Parker’s hit, which has Mayfield a little confused.

“They just have to find their consistency,” Mayfield said. “With every ref it’s different – how they see it, how they’re seeing the plays, momentum with the whistle, when it’s blown, stuff like that. So as they continue to try to enforce the same rule, I think the consistency will grow. But right now, that’s why you’re seeing some confusion.”

Mayfield joked that he didn’t have these kinds of problems in collage at Oklahoma.

“I had a bunch of friends out there, so it was good,” Mayfield said.  

On Oct. 21 at Tampa Bay, Mayfield was drilled in his earhole by the crown of safety Jordan Whitehead’s helmet following a 35-yard run, but the officials picked up penalty flags that were thrown on the play, said there was no foul and it was okay for the quarterback “to be hit in the head.”

The league later admitted the call was wrong and Whitehead was fined $26,739.

“It’s very surprising,” Mayfield said regarding the discrepancy in calls. “It’s funny to see some of the referees chit-chat with guys on the field. I do not know. I think as the years go on, we will get better relationships and we will see as it goes. And we will improve as a team, too.”

Randall’s rest – Safety Damarious Randall knew when he warmed up last Sunday he was not going to play against the Chiefs because interim head coach Gregg Williams wanted him to rest an ailing groin injury.

“I felt ready to go last week,” Randall said.

As we reported Sunday, Randall confirmed on Wednesday that he left the team briefly last week to get his groin injury checked out to which he said the doctor gave him “great news” and he expects to return this week against the Falcons.

“He is a tough guy,” Williams said.

Busy day – The Browns made several roster moves Wednesday as injuries have decimated their defense.

In addition to placing cornerback E.J. Gaines and linebacker Christian Kirksey on injured reserve and signing defensive back Juston Burris from the New York Jets practice squad, the team waived cornerback Denzel Rice and claimed cornerback Phillip Gaines from the Bills and safety Jermaine Whitehead from the Packers off waivers.

Injury report – Did not practice: C JC Tretter (ankle), CB Denzel Ward (hip), LB Jamie Collins (ankle)

Limited: LT Desmond Harrison (illness), S Damarious Randall (groin), LB Joe Schobert (hamstring), TE David Njoku (knee, ribs), S Damarious Randall (groin), WR Da’Mari Scott (shoulder), CB Tavierre Thomas (abdomen)

Full:   RT Chris Hubbard (toe), WR Jarvis Landry (wrist), OL Austin Corbett (foot), WR Antonio Callaway (ankle)