Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young (99) is shown during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. The last time Baker Mayfield faced a talented, quarterback-seeking defensive line anchored by the No. 2 overall draft pick, things didn't go well. The San Francisco 49ers menaced and mauled Mayfield last season. On Sunday the Browns' QB faces Washington's ferocious front.(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)
In this Oct. 7, 2019, file photo, Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) is sacked by San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Kwon Alexander, left, and K'Waun Williams during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif. The last time Baker Mayfield faced a talented, quarterback-seeking defensive line anchored by the No. 2 overall draft pick, things didn't go well. The San Francisco 49ers menaced and mauled Mayfield last season. On Sunday the Browns' QB faces Washington's ferocious front. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)
CLEVELAND (AP) - The last time Baker Mayfield faced a talented, quarterback-seeking defensive line anchored by the No. 2 overall draft pick, things didn't go well.
The San Francisco 49ers menaced and mauled Mayfield last season.
On Sunday the Browns' QB faces Washington's ferocious front.
''Game wreckers,'' Mayfield said while describing a unit led by rookie Chase Young that leads the NFL with 11 sacks after two weeks.
Protecting Mayfield will be one of the primary objectives for the Browns (1-1), who are looking to keep their momentum rolling after rebounding from a brutal opener by beating the Cincinnati Bengals 35-30 last Thursday night.
Cleveland has used the extra days off to get healthier and prepare for Washington's talented and deep D-line, which is stacked with first-round picks and can create pressure from inside and the edge.
In Week 5 last year, the 49ers had Mayfield scrambling for his safety on almost every snap in a 31-3 loss. He was sacked four times, harassed numerous others, completed just 8 of 22 passes for 100 yards and threw two interceptions.
It may have been the low point in a season of lows for Mayfield and the Browns. It was also a good lesson for the third-year QB as the Niners showed some new defensive looks.
This time, he feels more prepared for what might be coming.
''Just what they are trying to do, let those guys go make plays,'' said Mayfield, who wasn't sacked by Cincinnati. ''San Fran had where they put the five bigs in the game and said one on one, somebody is going to win. We are not seeing that with Washington. That does not mean they can't show up and do that because they have the personnel. It is just different schematically, but yes, talent-wise, very similar.''
The Niners had Joey Bosa, fresh out of Ohio State. Washington has Young, another Buckeye who is already proving to be worth his high selection. His 2 1/2 sacks are tied for the league lead.
''Just a freak of nature,'' said Browns rookie left tackle Jedrick Wills, who may be matched up at times against Young. ''You do not see a lot of guys like him around the league. He just has a lot of size and ability and a lot of speed and power, which is a good combination of everything you need.''
RUN, RUN, RUN
The Browns churned out 215 yards rushing against the Bengals and fullback Andy Janovich said it ''could have had 300 or 400 - if we wanted.''
Get to used to it.
Cleveland's going to lean on Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, two backs capable of ripping off a touchdown run from anywhere on the field.
''It gives a boost to the offense - especially the offensive line - when you've got a guy that all you need to do is give him a crack,'' said Washington coach Ron Rivera. ''They've got two guys that can do that.''
RIGHT IS ALL RIGHT
The Browns will be at full strength to handle Washington's rush as right tackle Jack Conklin returns from an ankle injury suffered in Week 1.
Conklin, who signed a three-year, $42 million deal as a free agent with Cleveland in March, said the Browns have their hands full with Washington's line.
''Obviously they're a great front and they're playing really well,'' he said. ''They've got some young guys up there that are doing a great job and really coming together and working as a group. It'll be a great challenge for us this week to keep everybody clean.''
Because Dwayne Haskins only started seven games as a rookie, the 2019 first-round pick is still making some mistakes like a first-year pro quarterback.
Rivera in particular wondered aloud if Haskins being so hyped up is contributing to jitters early in games, because the Ohio State product settles in nicely.
Haskins lost a fumble in Washington's Week 2 loss at Arizona and is learning on the fly.
''The biggest thing is just trusting the play, playing the play out and not letting the last play affect the new play and just focusing on what my reads are and not trying to bypass a 1 or 2-yard completion that could be a first down and try to throw a 15, 14-yard curl route,'' Haskins said. ''Just trying to make sure the play and completion game moves us down the field.''
The Browns got three expected defensive starters back this week as linebacker Mack Wilson (knee) and cornerbacks Greedy Williams (shoulder) and Kevin Johnson (lacerated liver) returned from injuries suffered in training camp.
It's not known how much they'll play Sunday to help a defense that has given up 69 points in two games.
Washington got what Rivera called good news on standout right guard Brandon Scherff, who will only miss a few weeks and not the entire season with a right knee injury. Scherff got rolled up on last week against the Cardinals.
Veteran free agent pickup Wes Schweitzer could start in Scherff's place. He replaced Scherff against Arizona, but Rivera was noncommittal this week.
''I thought Wes did a nice job,'' he said. ''We've got a good slew of offensive linemen. We're going to be working a lot of guys.''
Five Waiver Wire Adds: Week 8
Buffalo Bills CB Josh Norman (hamstring) hasn't been ruled out, but he's unlikely to play in Week 8.
Fantasy Spin: It's a tough break for Norman, who was going off in fantasy before the injury. He can be dropped for fresh legs in IDP leagues.
Cincinnati Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap was told to stay home while the team attempts to trade him.
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy doesn't intend to bench quarterback Nick Foles in favor of Mitchell Trubisky after the team's 24-10 Monday night loss to the Rams in Week 7. The Bears are 5-2 but rank 27th in points per game (19.7), 30th in yards per play (4.8), 30th in yards per run (3.8), 29th in yards per pass (5.6), 30th on third-down conversions (35.1 percent) and 29th in red-zone efficiency (47.6 percent). Foles took over for Trubisky in Week 3 and was 28-for-40 for 261 yards and two interceptions against the Rams. Foles has thrown for 1,139 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions in five appearances (four starts) this year. The Saints -- Chicago's Week 8 opponent -- allow the sixth-most fantasy points per game to signal-callers, but Foles remains a low-end QB2 in superflex leagues in Chicago's stagnant offense.
Atlanta Falcons wide receivers Julio Jones (hip) and Russell Gage (knee) were both limited in practice on Tuesday. Jones' injury is new, but the 31-year-old always seems to be fighting through some sort of injury and he should be fine for the Thursday night matchup with the Panthers. The All-Pro wideout missed the Week 5 matchup with Carolina due to an injury, but he should be fine for this one and he remains a locked-in, must-start WR1 whenever he's on the field as the team's No. 1 receiver. Jones has 16 receptions on 19 targets for 234 yards and two touchdowns in the last two weeks against the Vikings and Lions. The Panthers allow the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to wideouts, but Jones should be in all starting lineups regardless. Gage should play on Thursday, but he's been a non-factor the last five weeks and can be left to the waiver wire in shallow leagues.
The San Francisco 49ers reached an injury settlement with wide receiver Tavon Austin (knee) on Tuesday, and he is no longer on their Injured Reserve list. Austin was put on IR before the 2020 regular season started. He spent the last two years in Dallas, recording 21 catches on 37 targets for 317 yards and three touchdowns in 21 games. The eighth overall pick in the 2013 draft by the Rams, Austin had his best season in 2016, catching 58 passes for 509 yards and three touchdowns. He has just 15 touchdowns in seven NFL seasons and has essentially become a little-used gadget player in recent seasons. Don't expect Austin to resurface anywhere in 2021 as a fantasy relevant option.
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay said that rookie third-round safety Terrell Burgess (ankle) broke his ankle in the Monday night win over the Bears and will miss the rest of the season. The 21-year-old will finish his rookie season with eight tackles (seven solo) and one pass defensed in seven games of action. Burgess was taken with the 104th overall pick in April and has the versatility to also play nickel cornerback in the NFL. He's a smart player and anticipates routes in coverage. The former Utah Ute should have plenty of time to recover in time for training camp next summer.
Because of COVID-19 protocols, the Detroit Lions Defense will not have newly acquired defensive end Everson Griffen available to play in Week 8 against the Colts. Griffen's debut with Detroit will come on Nov. 8 against the Vikings, the team that he spent the first 10 years of his career with while earning four Pro Bowl nods. The Lions sent a sixth-round draft pick in 2021 to the Cowboys for Griffen's services on Tuesday, and he'll be a veteran present for Detroit's defensive line the rest of the season. While the 32-year-old isn't an IDP starting option at his position on a weekly basis, he should help improve their defensive line. However, the Lions defense overall is near the bottom of the league in fantasy points through seven weeks, so you should continue to avoid them everywhere.
Buffalo Bills WR Cole Beasley has either topped 50 receiving yards or caught a touchdown pass in all seven games this season.
Fantasy Spin: Beasley's 470 receiving yards rank in the top 20 in the NFL, and he sits inside the top 15 in receptions. He's a PPR flex option.
Atlanta Falcons RB Todd Gurley's 122 rush attempts rank second in the NFL, and he has logged at least 14 carries in all seven games.
Fantasy Spin: The heavy workload is a bit of a surprise given Gurley's history of knee problems, and while he has managed just one 100-yard game, he has scored seven times and topped 50 yards six times. He's a volume-based RB2 heading into a friendly matchup against Carolina in Week 8.
Free-agent WR Dwayne Harris (Texans) was signed to the Chicago Bears' practice squad Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Los Angeles Rams DL A'Shawn Robinson (undisclosed) will be activated from the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list this week, head coach Sean McVay said Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee (hand) could be ready to play against the Miami Dolphins in Week 8, according to head coach Sean McVay Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Fantasy Spin: Higbee was forced to sit out Week 7 for his first missed game of the season. He has 18 catches on 21 targets for 222 yards and three touchdowns through six games and is a low-end TE1 most weeks.
Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't being shopped for a trade, according to a source with direct knowledge Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Fantasy Spin: Fitzpatrick would definitely have at least some measure of fantasy value on any one of the NFL's current QB-needy teams, but it appears he'll be staying in Miami to mentor rookie Tua Tagovailoa. It will help Tagovailoa, but it's a shame for fantasy managers in two-QB leagues.
Tennessee Titans RB D'Onta Foreman, PK Tucker McCann, QB Trevor Siemian and LB Tuzar Skipper were designated as protected practice squad players for Week 8 Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Pittsburgh Steelers WR Deon Cain, RB Trey Edmunds, LB Jayrone Elliott and RB Wendell Smallwood were named to the team's Week 8 practice squad protection list Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers PK Greg Joseph and DT Jeremiah Ledbetter were chosen as protected practice squad players for Week 8 Tuesday, Oct. 27.
New York Giants RB Alfred Morris, P Ryan Santoso, G Chad Slade and QB Clayton Thorson were named as protected practice squad players for Week 8 Tuesday, Oct. 27.
San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman (knee) could be back in the mix as soon as Sunday versus Seattle, with head coach Kyle Shanahan saying that he was hopeful that they'd have Coleman for the game. The 49ers' backfield has been a constant shuffling endeavor with Raheem Mostert (ankle) and Jeff Wilson Jr. (ankle) both now out of the mix for the foreseeable future. Coleman's return coincides with Jerick McKinnon likely moving up the depth chart, although how any share of carries would be split remains unclear. Coleman started 11 games for San Francisco last season, so despite having compiled just 30 yards across 18 carries this year, he's likely to see an increased role whenever he's officially ready to return. Check back throughout the week for updates on his status as they become available.