Freddie Kitchens pulled Baker Mayfield for final drive to prevent taking more hits

Curtis Crabtree
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Baker Mayfield didn’t finish Monday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers but it wasn’t due to injury. It was in hopes of preventing one.

Head coach Freddie Kitchens said after the game that the reason Garrett Gilbert replaced Mayfield for the final possession of the game was because of the number of hits Mayfield was taking.

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“I thought he was taking too many hits unnecessarily,” Kitchens said.

Mayfield was sacked four times and hit eight times by the 49ers in the loss. Nick Bosa had two sacks and five quarterback hits of Mayfield. Gilbert replaced Mayfield for the final three offensive snaps of the game.

Per Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, Mayfield had an ice wrap on his shoulder and a sleeve on his left leg after the game.

Mayfield said he’s fine and that the three-snap reprieve to end the game wasn’t because of injury.

“I’ll be alright. I think the general nature of that game, just a physical game. I’ll be good,” Mayfield said.

The 49ers held Mayfield to the worst statistical performance of his career. He completed just 8 of 22 passes for 100 yards with two interceptions, though one of the picks was as much on Antonio Callaway as Mayfield. His 13.4 passer rating and 100 yards passing were new career-lows. He passed for 180 yards in a loss at Pittsburgh last October and posted a 52.6 rating in a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers two weeks earlier.

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