Baker Mayfield has nothing but prayers and hope for his former teammate Nick Chubb.
On Monday, the Cleveland Browns running back suffered a grisly leg injury when Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick dove at him during a rushing play. The injury is feared to be season-ending.
Mayfield, who now plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, expressed sadness at his former teammate's potential fate:
"Love you Nick…Prayers up," he tweeted.
Revisiting Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb's time together in Cleveland
Both Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb belong in the same draft class.
The two were drafted in 2018 by the Cleveland Browns, who were coming off a disastrous 0-16 season the year prior. The quarterback was taken first overall and the running back 35th. The two, alongside wide receiver Jarvis Landry, who had been acquired via a trade with the New Orleans Saints, helped the Browns to a respectable 7-8-1 record.
The following year, the team traded for star wideout Odell Beckham Jr., who greatly exceeded expectations. However, they finished the season with a 6-10 record. But they finally broke through the following season, their first under current head coach-general manager duo Kevin Stefanski and Andrew Berry, going 11-5 and making it as far as the Divisional Round before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs.
After an 8-9 2021 season, the Browns decided to change starting quarterbacks, trading for Deshaun Watson. Mayfield was subsequently traded to the Carolina Panthers.
Chubb said beforehand:
“He’ll still always be one of my best friends. He’s a great guy. I know with his intensity and his attitude, wherever he lands, he’ll be ready.”
Has Baker Mayfield reinvented himself in Tampa Bay? Longtime NFL writer thinks so
Baker Mayfield's stint with the Panthers turned out to be a low point, and he was waived mid-season. After a brief sojourn with the Los Angeles Rams, he joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as Tom Brady's replacement with low expectations.
But since then, Mayfield has seemingly found a second wind, throwing for at least 300 yards in the Buccaneers' wins against the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears.
This led NBC columnist Peter King, who had predicted them to go 2-15, to highlight Mayfield's impact:
“Baker Mayfield is on fire, as is Tampa Bay. What a great start for Mayfield, playing for his fourth team in the last 21 months. No quarterback is his peer through two weeks on third downs (20 of 23 for 201 yards and three touchdowns). So much for geniuses like me who thought the Bucs would be in for a total rebuild this year.”
Next up for the Buccaneers are the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night, part of ESPN's second straight doubleheader in as many weeks.