Cleveland Browns Announce Positive COVID-19 Tests For Third Straight Day
The Cleveland Browns were informed Thursday another player tested positive for COVID-19 and the team’s facility was closed, while their Sunday opponent already had several coaches isolating.
The Browns placed linebacker Sione Takitaki on the COVID-19 list Wednesday, joining four other players: lineman Chris Hubbard, Fullback Andy Janovich, and defensive ends Joe Jackson and Myles Garrett. Stefanski said Hubbard could return before Sunday’s game in Jacksonville.
“We’re working through contact tracing, so with that, we’ll hold a few guys, players and staff, out of the workouts this afternoon,” Browns Head Coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters before practice Wednesday. “But we will open the building and that’s what we’ve been working on this morning. We’ll space this out a little bit, so that we’ll bring the offense in [before the defense.]”
The Browns will have similar protocols Thursday and the team will place another player on the reserve list. Earlier this month, the NFL mandated all teams should follow the league's intensive Covid protocols, which calls for all meetings to be held virtually and players to wear special face shields during practice.
Both the Browns and the Jacksonville Jaguars continue to struggle with COVID-19 issues ahead of a scheduled Sunday afternoon kickoff for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Garrett has already been ruled out for Sunday’s game, but the NFL’s leader in quarterback sacks could return the following week against the Tennessee Titans.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have isolated their entire defensive coaching staff and defensive coordinator Todd Wash will miss Sunday's game, along with two of his assistants.
The NFL has not yet commented on the status of Sunday’s Browns game, but the league did postpone the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens game from Thursday night to Sunday because of coronavirus cases in the Ravens organization. It was the first postponement for the NFL since Week 7 in late October.
Stefanski said offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt showed the players a Stretch Armstrong to stress flexibility this week.
“We understand and we respect the nature of how things are in our country and we’re trying to make sure everyone’s safe, that is first and foremost,” Stefanski said. “With that, when we’re on our Zoom meetings, when we’re out on the practice field, we are trying to keep it light and have fun while we’re getting our work done.”
The 7-3 Browns are looking to keep pace in the AFC playoff race. If the game is played, Jacksonville (1-9) coach Doug Marrone announced Wednesday veteran quarterback Mike Glennon will start.