Case Keenum took over for Mayfield, and made the most his first start in 2 years. Third-string back D'Ernest Johnson ran for 146 yards. Cleveland won a short week with a long list injuries and beat the Denver Broncos by 17-14.
Although Keenum's stats were not impressive (21 of 33 yards for 199 yards), he did throw a touchdown pass and helped the Browns (4-3), win a desperately needed victory.
They made it through without Mayfield, who was unable to play due to a shoulder injury. He could be out for a while longer.
After his first win since 2019, Keenum stated, "Unfortunately some people will get hurt," "But at the same time, you love young men getting chances."
Johnson played because Nick Chubb (star) and Kareem Hunter (star) were both out with calf injuries. He had the best game of any young player. After the Broncos had pulled within three, Johnson scored with a 4-yard touchdown run in the first period and rushed seven times for 52 yards as the Browns dominated the final 5:17.
Johnson was unsure how to respond once he got to the end zone.
He said, "It's unexplainable." "I wanted to celebrate, but I didn’t know what to do. It has been a long road.
Johnson was stopped by the Broncos, and they are losing.
Vic Fangio, Denver coach, said that the last drive was "very frustrating." "We were ready to face the run, but we couldn't stop them."
Johnson, who was drafted to work on a fishing vessel, was then doused in water by his teammates during raucous celebrations in the locker room.
Johnson was shocked to see LeBron James, NBA superstar tweeting about him during the final minutes of the game.
He said, "LeBron?" "Man, that's the best basketball player I know. LeBron? That's incredible. That's a lot. Wow!
Teddy Bridgewater, Denver's quarterback, threw two touchdown passes while suffering from foot and quadriceps injuries. He completed 23 of 33 passes for 187 yards and only one interception.
The Broncos (3-4), dropped their fourth consecutive game and, perhaps more importantly, Von Miller, star linebacker, was injured. A dislodged tendon in his ankle prevented the eight-time Pro Bowler from playing in 2020.
Miller was hurt in the second half after he slapped Dre'Mont Jones, his teammate, while running Keenum.
Mayfield has been playing with a torn Labrum and a broken bone in his nonthrowing shoulder. However, a source familiar with Mayfield's health said that he believes he can continue playing with it.
Mayfield is hopeful that the injury will improve enough to allow him to play against Pittsburgh on October 31. This was according to a person who spoke under anonymity due the sensitive nature of the situation.
During Fox's pregame broadcast, the fourth-year QB disclosed the fracture in his humerus bone to Fox. It runs from his elbow to his shoulder.
Keenum proved that he is capable of keeping the Browns moving forward until he's ready.
Johnson was an unlikely hero.
Keenum stated, "A guy like he, who the locker-room loves and everyone loves -- a great family and just an overall good person." He was very excited to have an amazing night and play some major plays on a national stage. It was thrilling."
After Bridgewater's 8 yard TD pass to Melvin Gordon brought Broncos to within 10-7 in quarter three, Keenum directed a 13 play, 75-yard drive that he concluded with a 1-yard scoring pass for fullback Johnny Stanton IV.
The biggest play of the drive was made by Keenum, who converted a fourth-and-3 play into a 5-yard scramble at Denver's 1.
The 33-year old, who was last in Washington's starting lineup two years ago was thrilled to have the chance to play. He said Wednesday that he was "built" for it and Keenum proved that he is more than capable of filling out.
Jarvis Landry, Browns receiver, had five catches of 37 yards in his first game since missing four games due to a sprained leg. He was activated just hours before the kickoff.
OBJ JUST OK
Odell Beckham Jr. had an unremarkable night.
The Cleveland star receiver was unable to practice due to a shoulder injury and had a drop. He was then called for an illegal formation, and was briefly removed from the game after he injured his shoulder.
Beckham responded with two receptions during the third quarter.
Broncos: ILB Michakiser (groin), left in the first quarter. After placing Alexander Johnson (injured reserve) and Andre Mintze (on injured reserve) earlier this week, Denver was already short at linebacker.
Browns: Browns WR Donovan Peoples-Jones sustained a groin injury in pregame warmups. He didn't play. CB Denzel Ward suffered a left hamstring injury in the fourth quarter. ... Cleveland was also without starting RT Jack Conklin who had a knee injury that left him out of his second consecutive game.
Broncos will host Washington on October 31.
Browns: Enjoy an extra few days to rest before you face Pittsburgh, the rival on Halloween.