CLEVELAND (AP/KXAN) — Baker Mayfield came back after hurting his left shoulder to throw a touchdown pass and run for a TD, leading the Cleveland Browns to a 31-21 win Sunday over the Houston Texans, who were in it until starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor got hurt.
Nick Chubb had a 26-yard touchdown run for the Browns (1-1), who bounced back from a Week 1 loss at Kansas City to thrill their first capacity home crowd since 2019.
Mayfield went 10 for 10 after a first-half interception — and injuring his non-throwing shoulder while making the tackle on the play —- and finished 19 of 21 for 213 yards. The Lake Travis High School graduate is now 3-1 against Texas teams during his NFL career.
Mayfield’s Browns swept two games in 2020 against the Lone Star State, winning at Dallas and at home against Houston. He lost his first NFL game in the state in 2019 at Houston.
Chubb had 95 yards on 11 carries.
Browns rookie Demetric Felton caught a short pass from Mayfield, made a spin move, broke a tackle and went 33 yards in the third quarter for an electrifying TD to put Cleveland ahead for good.
The Texans (1-1) were tied at halftime and moving the ball with ease before losing Taylor to a hamstring injury.
The 32-year-old, who spent 2018 with Cleveland and got Houston’s job this season by default because of Deshaun Watson’s legal troubles, completed 10 of 11 passes in the first half but didn’t come out of the locker room.
Taylor’s injury forced rookie Davis Mills into his first NFL action and he threw an interception on his second series.
Mills threw a 2-yard TD pass to Brandin Cooks in the fourth quarter to pull the Texans within 24-21.
But the Browns responded with an 82-yard scoring drive — mostly on the ground — that Chubb ended with his score.
Cleveland wide receiver Jarvis Landry injured a knee on the second offensive play and didn’t return.
Taylor’s injury was the most notable for Houston, but not the only one as the Texans had a rough day.
For a while, Browns fans nervously waited while Mayfield was in the locker room getting treatment.
Cleveland’s QB hurt his shoulder when he threw his pick and then lunged at the legs of Texans safety Justin Reid. Mayfield stayed on the ground in obvious pain while being assessed.
He was helped off and checked in the medical tent before jogging to the locker room. Mayfield returned to the bench area a few minutes later.
While Mayfield was out, Taylor scored on a 15-yard scamper on third down to give the Texans a 14-7 lead.
On his first possession back, Mayfield scored on a 5-yard run he celebrated by firing the ball into the wall in front of the Dawg Pound section.
Landry’s injury not only affected Cleveland’s offense, but ended an impressive streak.
The eight-year veteran had caught at least two passes in 111 consecutive games, the fourth-longest streak in history. Hall of Famer Tim Brown holds the record with 147, one more than Jerry Rice.
WHERE THERE’S A WILLS
Browns starting left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. played despite missing practice all week with a sprained left ankle suffered early in the opener.
Wills played part of the third quarter before being replaced by Blake Hance.
Wills’ status took on greater relevance as his backup, Chris Hubbard, was ruled out earlier in the week with a triceps injury.
Texans: WR Nico Collins (shoulder) got hurt in the first quarter and didn’t return. … S Eric Murray (concussion), WR Danny Amendola (hamstring), TE Antony Auclair (eye), CB Terrance Mitchell (head) and Reid (lower leg/head) were also hurt.
Texans: Quick turnaround with a Thursday night matchup at home against Carolina.
Browns: Stay home and host the Chicago Bears next Sunday.