The Cleveland Browns placed eight players on the COVID-19 reserve list on Tuesday, which included key offensive starters like Jarvis Landry, Wyatt Teller and Jedrick Wills.
The Browns could potentially face the Raiders this weekend with as many as five offensive starters sidelined in Landry, Teller and Wills, as well as tight ends Austin Hooper and David Njoku.
“We’ve got pros. I think those guys understand what’s really important is this game on Saturday. It’s an AFC game and we have to come ready to go,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said on Tuesday following the announcement.
Stefanski said that there’s still time this week for general manager Andrew Berry to bring in players at need be, but the team in confident in the backups and practice squad players
The concern is also that the offensive line will be in shambles with multiple starters out against the Raiders strong pass-rush and a banged-up Baker Mayfield behind it. Veterans Joel Bitonio and JC Tretter would be the only remaining members of the starting offensive line if all the players placed on the reserve list are held out.
“We’ll work through all those things,” Stefanski said of figuring out the starters on the offensive line.
Browns beat reporter Nate Ulrich reported that “each of the eight Browns players who were placed on the COVID-19 list today tested positive for a breakthrough case of the virus.”
No Update on Players Previously Placed on List
Stefanski said he did not have an update on Njoku, Gillan and Walker, who were placed on the list last week.
Rookie receiver Anthony Schwartz was one of the Browns players to react on Twitter to the news.
“That s–t just won’t go away huh,” he wrote. “Hope all my guys make a full recovery.”
Full list of players on COVID-19 Reserve List
- G Drew Forbes
- TE Austin Hooper
- WR Jarvis Landry
- DE Takkarist McKinley
- G Wyatt Teller
- T Jedrick Wills
- WR JoJo Natson
- TE Ross Travis
- TE David Njoku
- P Jamie Gillan
- LB Anthony Walker
Browns Also Dealing With Injuries
The Browns have been plagued by injuries this season and the COVID-19 issues only add to that. Tight end Harrison Bryant, cornerback Greg Newsome, safety Ronnie Harrison and running back Kareem Hunt are all dealing with injuries and their status for next week is uncertain.
Hunt has already missed five games this season due to a calf injury and he is a vastly important part of the Browns two-headed attack with Nick Chubb.
“That is the nature of the beast. Obviously, you hate injuries, and the competitor that Kareem is, you hate that he is going through this, but he has to rehab and get back as soon as he can,” Stefanski said.
The Browns are also hoping Newsome can return after suffering a freak injury at the end of practice last week.
“It was unfortunate. He was going up to catch a ball. The receiver was going up to catch it,” Stefanski said. “I do not think they saw each other and came down hard. It is it just very, very unfortunate. We just have to make sure that we follow the protocols.”
Greedy Williams started in Newsome’s place but did not have his strongest showing, getting beat on a couple of deep passes.
“That is occupational hazard for cornerbacks. There is technique that we can work on,” Stefanski said. “There are things that we can be mindful of and make sure we are better going into this week.”