The Cleveland Browns are suffering a major COVID outbreak in their locker room. According to ESPN’s Kimberley Martin, at least six players are being added to the Reserve/COVID list today. That list includes multiple starters like WR Jarvis Landry, OG Wyatt Teller, and OT Jedrick Wills.
Here’s the latest news from Martin, who tweeted earlier in the day the Browns were bracing to lose several key players.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter lists an additional two names, WR JoJo Natson and TE Ross Travis, both of whom are on the practice squad.
That is a heavy-hitting list of names. Five of those eight are key contributors to their team. And entering today, the team had four players already on the COVID list, including TE David Njoku. Njoku could soon be cleared, but right now he, Hooper, and Travis are on the list. The Browns’ elite offensive line takes a big step back without Teller and Wills.
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, all eight players were added due to positive tests.
Cleveland plays the Las Vegas Raiders this Saturday, making for an even quicker turnaround for the team to adjust. Given these were positive cases, it is extremely unlikely anyone added today will be cleared in time for Saturday’s game. The Browns are fighting for their playoff lives, entering this weekend’s game at 7-6 and in third place in the AFC North. According to Pelissero, the NFL currently has no plans on rescheduling the game.
The Browns and Steelers will meet in Week 17, January 3rd.
The NFL is seeing a huge uptick in COVID cases. 37 people, players and staff, were added to the COVID list on Monday. Today, the Browns have experienced an outbreak while the Kansas City Chiefs – Pittsburgh’s Week 16 opponent – placed DL Chris Jones on the Reserve/COVID list. He is likely to be cleared for the Steelers game, but it’s not guaranteed and certainly worth noting.
Pittsburgh has certainly had their share of COVID cases this season. Key players like Ben Roethlisberger and Minkah Fitzpatrick have missed games because of positive tests. Currently, the team has just one player on Reserve/COVID, DB Linden Stephens, who was added to the practice squad/COVID list yesterday. OL Joe Haeg was activated from the COVID list Monday after spending 13 days on there. Typically this season, players miss roughly ten days before coming off the list.
We’ll update this story if it develops. The uptick in cases, in part due to the winter/holiday season, is something all fans should be watching over the final four weeks of the season.