Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield made a high-stakes bet he was healthy enough to be the best quarterback on the team against the Carol Panthers in Week 18. Per a statement by the Buccaneers, Mayfield chose to play through a rib injury Sunday:
“Baker Mayfield has started every game through his first 17 weeks with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Nothing is changing in Week 18 as the Buccaneers try to win at Carolina to secure a third straight NFC South title.
Despite suffering a painful ribs injury a week ago against the New Orleans Saints, Mayfield is active for his team’s regular season finale at Carolina and will start as the Buccaneers try to secure their third straight NFC South division title.”
Mayfield did not practice Wednesday due to the rib injury. He was limited on Thursday but was a full participant on Friday. The Buccaneers listed Mayfield as questionable to play the Panthers on Friday afternoon.
The Buccaneers and Mayfield had much riding on their matchup with the Panthers.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers owe Mayfield $1 million with Week 18 win
According to Adam Schefter with ESPN, Mayfield earns $1 million if the Buccaneers make it to the playoffs. The Buccaneers assure themselves of a playoff spot and the NFC South title if they beat the Panthers.
Buccaneers’ QB Baker Mayfield has a $1 million incentive if his team advances to the postseason; all Tampa has to do today is win, it’s in, and Mayfield collects $1 million.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 7, 2024
Mayfield’s injury appeared to affect his play against the Panthers. He finished 20/32 for 137 yards against the Panthers. But his risk worked out, as the Buccaneers defeated the Panthers 9-0 to clinch the NFC South.
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