‘Meaningful football’: Browns can make up for lost season in home stretch

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Baker Mayfield’s chance to change the narrative about him, about the Browns and about his future is staring him in the face. He’s got five games to show he’s either a franchise quarterback or another Cleveland miss.

Pushing through several injuries for weeks, Mayfield spent the bye week healing up and preparing himself for a dastardly December stretch of important games that will define this season for the Browns and perhaps determine where he plays the rest of his NFL career.

“I think we all know that Baker is incredibly physically tough. I think he has told you guys at moments in the year when he has been frustrated with his own performance. That being said, he has had stretches this year where he has played well for us,” said Andrew Berry, Browns general manager, during an availaiblity on Wednesday.

“Look, the reality of it is he has worked through injuries, no different than other players on our roster. I know what he expects of himself and what we expect of him whenever he is on the field to perform at a capable level and at a winning level. We expect him to play his best football down the stretch after the bye.”

Following a bye week, Cleveland hosts AFC North-leading Baltimore.

“I think the next five games provide us with a valuable opportunity to grow and work through what will be a very difficult stretch. The reality of it is entering the season and entering December, you hope for the opportunity to play meaningful football late in the year, and that is something that is still right in front of us. We are going to play five teams that I think are playoff caliber – four in the AFC and three in our division. I am excited about that opportunity,” Berry told reporters.

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