Tyrod Taylor returns to practice but Drew Stanton could be backup this week

Todd Haley says Taylor not to blame for offensive problems against Jets

Daryl Ruiter
September 27, 2018 - 11:26 am
Cleveland Browns Tyrod Taylor New York Jets

David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports

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Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Tyrod Taylor returned to practice on Thursday – a sign he’s cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Browns head coach Hue Jackson said earlier this week that if Taylor was cleared he would serve as Baker Mayfield’s backup Sunday at Oakland but that won’t be decided until Friday.

“We will see. We will see exactly where that is,” Jackson said Thursday following practice. “He did not do a lot so I will make sure that if we do put him out there, that he is ready to go. Obviously, Drew [Stanton] has been there since the situation with Tyrod had happened. We will see where that is. I will know more about that [Friday].”

If Taylor isn’t ready, Drew Stanton will serve as Mayfield’s backup.

“I’ve been 1 play away for the past 9 years now so the flip side of not being in uniform is what’s different for me,” Stanton, who has been inactive the first 3 weeks, said. “If it happens, then I’ll be ready. If it’s not then I’ll continue to do my role to the best of my ability.”

Stanton was brought in to mentor Mayfield and that will continue regardless of who the No. 2 QB will be in Oakland.

“I assume Tyrod’s going no matter what so both of us will be there,” Stanton said. “It’s a collective group that’s trying to help whoever’s out there. It doesn’t matter who the guy is that’s taking the snaps, we’ve built a really good culture within the [quarterbacks] room and we’re creating an environment where we’re all for the person that’s out there.”

In addition to the concussion, Taylor is listed having a back injury on the team’s injury report, which factors into his availability this weekend.

“He got hit more than once in that game,” Jackson said. “Not sure exactly which one, but I know that it was one of those, I am sure, that led to the back issues.”

Taylor left last Thursday night’s win over the New York Jets with just under 3 minutes to play in the first half, but it is unclear exactly when Taylor suffered the concussion.

Offensive coordinator Todd Haley did not like what he saw on film and on Thursday let it be known that the problems early were not Taylor’s fault.

“If you get your quarterback hit five out of the first six plays and really more than that as you start to run through the start of that game, it was not a fair situation to put Tyrod in,” Haley said.

The Browns punted on all 6 of their offensive possessions before Mayfield took over but Haley defended Taylor, who was sacked 3 times.

“We need to execute better earlier because while Tyrod was in there, we gave him or anybody else – I do not care whether it is him or Baker or Dan Marino – you get the quarterback hit through no fault of his own on the first five plays, it is going to be a struggle,” Haley said. “We as a group – it is not just Baker – our offense has to execute better earlier in games.”

Jackson announced on Monday that the No. 1 overall pick from the 2018 Draft would take over as the permanent starter after he led them back from a 14-0 deficit to a 21-17 victory.  

Haley praised Taylor’s leadership while also declining to discuss the switch to Mayfield.

“I am going to choose to not talk about any of the internal stuff,” Haley said. “I like all of the guys, and I believe in all of the guys. Lastly, what I will say about Tyrod is he came in and has been a leader from Day 1 of this group and of this entire building. There was not this same excitement and prettiness to it right now, and he was and is a big part of getting this thing continued and going in the right direction because I feel like we are.”