The Browns will be without at least four starters for their matchup against the Raiders on Saturday.
The Cleveland franchise is the latest to be heavily affected by the NFL’s COVID-19 outbreak. After the league recorded the highest number of positive cases since 2020 on Monday, the Browns learned Tuesday that they will play without stars such as wide reciever Jarvis Landry and tight end Austin Hooper.
As the announcement came about four days before the Browns are scheduled to host the Raiders, the players who went on the list today will likely not be available for the AFC matchup. In addition to Landry and Hooper, players who tested positive Tuesday include guard Drew Forbes, right guard Wyatt Teller, left tackle Jedrick Wills and defensive end Takk McKinley.
The Browns will hold the remainder of their meetings for the week virtually, according to The Associated Press. As part of protocols, all players, coaches, and tiered personnel are required to wear masks indoors and are tested daily. The team also closed its late practice to reporters on Tuesday afternoon.
As per the league’s COVID-19 protocol for vaccinated players, individuals who test positive and are asymptomatic will be isolated and contact tracing will promptly occur. The positive individual will be permitted to return to duty after two negative tests at least 24-hours apart.
On the other hand, unvaccinated players who test positive will be isolated for a period of 10 days and will then be permitted to return to duty if asymptomatic. They are also subject to a five-day quarantine period if they have close contact with an infected individual.
The Browns will look to replace the loss of several key players as they prepare to face the Raiders. A win against Las Vegas can give the Browns a chance to lead the AFC North. However, a loss to the Raiders will put the Browns in a tough position to make the playoffs before they’re scheduled to face the Packers on Christmas Day.
While the Browns will most likely play against the Raiders without five key players, the organization will release updates on the players’ statuses as they go through protocols.