X-rays negative on Tyrod Taylor's hand, Denzel Ward to undergo MRI

Injuries, sputtering offense overshadow defensive dominance in 5-0 win

Daryl Ruiter
August 23, 2018 - 9:03 pm

© Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – As Tyrod Taylor walked off the field with his left arm dangling in the first quarter, the worst fears of the Browns flashed in front of everyone’s eyes.

For now, it appears that everyone can take a deep breath and relax.

X-rays were negative on Taylors left hand, but further testing is expected on Friday.

“I was very concerned,” head coach Hue Jackson said following their 5-0 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. “It is a hand. I was not sure, and anytime your starting quarterback goes into the locker room, you are not sure, but he came back. Obviously, he went back into the game so we will continue to look at it and see where we are as we head into next week.”

Taylor stayed in the locker room after halftime to receive treatment and he left FirstEnergy Stadium before reporters could speak with him Thursday night, which was unusual.

Taylor's injury occurred on a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line at the 6:13 mark of the first quarter when he rolled to his left trying to extend the play that saw him throw in the direction of receiver Jarvis Landry in the end zone before landing awkwardly on his left hand and wrist as he went down out of bounds untouched.

The replays looked worse than the injury appears to be, and it’s expected – at least for now pending test results Friday – that Taylor will be fine for the season opener Sept. 9, which is 16 days away.

“Anytime your quarterback gets nicked like that, you are always concerned, but I think the fact that he was able to go back into the game was a good sign,” Jackson said. “I know we will 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 is going to be OK, and that will happen.”

For whatever reason, Jackson decided it'd be a great idea to put him back in. 

Upon returning, Taylor handed off with both hands and he clearly was protecting his hand on multiple other snaps and plays. 

“Our medical people said he was fine and he could be out there,” Jackson said. “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 okay.” 

Taylor completed 4 of 8 passes for 19 yards prior to the injury and rookie Baker Mayfield took over for the next 2 series. Taylor finished the night 11 of 16 for 65 yards. He was sacked twice and had a rating of 76.3.

Earlier in the first quarter rookie cornerback Denzel Ward suffered a back injury and he was later ruled out for the remainder of the game. Ward laid down face first on the field for several minutes as trainers attended to him and teammates kneeled around him before he got to his feet and walked off under his own power.

Ward is expected to undergo an MRI Friday.

“We will do everything we can just to make sure, but we will definitely do the imaging and report just to make sure we know everything that is going on with his back,” Jackson said.

Mayfield completed 2 of 5 passes for 19 yards in the 2 series while Taylor received treatment and he completed 8 of 12 passes for 76 yards with an interception overall. He was also sacked twice and finished with a 49.3 rating.

It was Mayfield’s mist significant work with the first-team offense since being drafted first overall, and unfortunately it did not go well.

“I would never say it is a good opportunity when our leader and captain – Ty – goes down, but getting out there with the ones, that is something that I need to do,” Mayfield said. “I did that tonight, and that is why I am disappointed in myself. I didn’t take advantage of it and play my best game so it is on me. What we do with the reps, I just have to play my best when I get them, and that is plain and simple and how it is.”

Mayfield was unable to orchestrate a first down on the second series after linebacker Genard Avery strip-sacked Nick Foles and Emmanuel Ogbah recovered the fumble at the Eagles' 35. Zane Gonzalez made a 54-yard field goal to give Cleveland a 5-0 lead with 14:52 left in the second quarter.

The night ended for the No. 1 overall pick when he went to the medical tent following an interception by Eagles rookie corner Avonte Maddox on a pass intended for receiver Derrick Willies, who saved a pick-6 with a shoe-string tackle early in the fourth quarter. Mayfield hit his head on Shon Coleman's leg as he fell over a defender.

“[The independent medical observers] called down after the last time he got hit,” Jackson said. “They have the spotters up top. They took him underneath to determine everything was OK. At that time, I made a decision to keep him out of the game and put Drew [Stanton] in.”

Mayfield wanted to return but this time Jackson decided to err on the side of caution and wouldn't let him.

“I was fixing to go back into the game. They decided not to put me back in,” Mayfield said. “Not my call. Not worried about it. I should have taken advantage of the time that I was in.”

Prior to the game free safety Damarious Randall’s knee locked up and Jackson “made the decision not to put him out there.”

Linebacker Genard Avery, who had a sack and forced fumble, also suffered a hamstring injury.

“You never know until you get these reports back and know where it is,” Jackson said. “I hope it is not [serious]. The guy is really coming on and doing some really good things. Hopefully, we will get him back soon.”

Cleveland’s defense forced 4 turnovers – 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles and recoveries, created a turnover on downs and netted a safety in the win that was overshadowed by injuries and no offensive production.