The Cleveland Browns became just the latest NFL team to deal with COVID-19, as the club announced on Sunday morning that they had placed quarterback Baker Mayfield on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Thankfully, the Browns are on a bye this week, so they are not preparing to play a game today without their quarterback.. Along with placing Mayfield on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the Browns also released this statement:
“The Cleveland Browns were informed Saturday morning that a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. Contact tracing was conducted and close contacts were immediately self-isolated. When the team returns to work following the bye on Monday, it will follow the NFL-NFLPA intensive protocol. We will continue to work closely with the league and medical experts on the appropriate next steps with the health and safety of our players, coaches and staff members remaining our highest priority.”
A player being placed on this new reserve list either means he had tested positive for the coronavirus or was in close contact with someone who had tested positive. According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, it was the latter for Mayfield. The Browns’ starting quarterback could be cleared as early as Wednesday if he continues to test negative, which means his status for Cleveland’s Week 10 matchup against the Houston Texans is not in doubt just yet.
The Detroit Lions had to deal with a similar situation earlier this week. Their starting quarterback Matthew Stafford was placed on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list after he was labeled as a “high-risk contact” stemming from close contact with a non-team member on Monday. While he was unable to practice all week, he was cleared this weekend and will indeed start during the Lions’ Week 9 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.