Baker Mayfield and other Browns starters will play vs. Bucs
BEREA, Ohio -- Freddie Kitchens doesn’t view the third preseason game as the dress rehearsal of old, and doesn’t need anyone telling him to break a leg before kickoff.
But Kitchens said Wednesday that he will play Baker Mayfield and many of the Browns starters Friday night in Tampa.
“We’re going to play our guys some,” Kitchens said, “and I don’t know how long yet.''
He noted that the starters will rest next Thursday at home vs. the Lions, meaning this is their last chance to get some live action in before the opener Sept. 8 against the Titans.
"This week’s a little different because you’re definitely not going to do it next week,'' he said.
Mayfield, who sat out Saturday’s game against the Colts along with many of the offensive starters, said he’d like to play a half against the Bucs, but Kitchens isn’t making any promises.
"Everybody’s got an opinion on that,'' Kitchens said with a laugh. "I’ll let him think that.''
Receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who’s been held out of padded team drills since Aug. 6 with a hip injury, is not expected to play in Tampa, meaning he probably won’t take a snap in a preseason game.
Kitchens said playing time will be determined on a player-by-player basis.
“Some of it factors in on how guys are feeling,'' he said. "Little nicks and bumps that they may have because they’ve all got nicks and bumps. We’ve had a physical camp.''
The Bucs game should mark the first preseason action of Denzel Ward, who returned to 11-on-11s this week and said he’d like to play.
Myles Garrett, who sat out the Colts game after getting a little banged up on the final day of joint practices Thursday, was kept inside with an illness on Tuesday but returned to the field on Wednesday. However, it was a light practice with no pads and gave some of the injured guys, including cornerback T.J. Carrie (hamstring) a chance to participate on a limited basis.
Kitchens has taken a conservative approach in playing his starters in preseason, and that will likely continue Friday night.