Browns’ Center, Union Pres J.C. Tretter Claims NFL Wanted To Cancel Games, Then Gets COVID

It’s been an interesting week for Cleveland Browns center and NFLPA president J.C. Tretter. First, he was the face of the NFL’s decision to postpone three games over the weekend, including his own team’s, with the conspiracy theory being that he exercised undue influence to coax the league into reaching that decision.

This week, Tretter claims that the NFL was actually leaning toward canceling those three games, rather than postponing them, and it was his and the union’s position that the games must be played, even if it meant postponement, so that the players would get their checks.

The problem is, nobody seems to be backing him up. In fact, union reps for two other teams, who commented under the condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press that cancelation was never the NFL’s first approach.

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, who also had his team’s game moved, expressed a congruous interpretation of his understanding of how the past week unfolded. “From what I knew, in the conversations that I had with people from the league they were not thinking about canceling games”, he’s quoted as saying by the AP. “They were trying every way to not do that. I’m sure that the discussion was out there for a short time, but they really did everything they could to make the games happen”.

Meanwhile, Tretter is now set to miss the Browns’ next game, to be played tomorrow, after himself testing positive for COVID-19. It will be the first game that he has missed since 2016, and the first he will have missed since joining the Browns.

Tretter said that he self-reported symptoms, as per the revised NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 Protocol, and his test came back positive. Provided that he can’t test out by today, he will be unavailable, which would result in Nick Harris starting at center. Harris has yet to play on offense this season. He started one game due to injury last year as a fifth-round rookie.

While Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has yet to test negative after having to sit out Cleveland’s previous game, the protocols allow for a vaccinated player to be removed from the Reserve/COVID-19 List 10 days after initially testing positive.

That makes Mayfield eligible to play tomorrow against the Green Bay Packers, even if he may have to travel to the game separately. He has not been able to practice all week, but on the flip side, he has gotten the opportunity to give his beat-up body multiple weeks of rest in what is a pivotal game for a Browns team desperate to keep its season alive.

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