Browns Starter Reacts to Being Placed on COVID List

Getty Images Ronnie Harrison of the Cleveland Browns.

The Cleveland Browns could be without starting safety Ronnie Harrison when they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in a playoff matchup on Sunday, adding him to the already large list of players and coaches who might be unavailable due to COVID-19.

Harrison reacted to the news via social media, using only emojis to describe his disappointment with the situation. The first came before the official announcement, which led to some speculation that it might have been about the Indians trading Francisco Lindor rather than a positive test.

His second tweet later in the day after the announcement confirmed it.

UPDATE: It was later reported that Harrison’s test was a false-positive. He will be active for Sunday’s game.

The game would mark Harrison’s postseason debut and he would miss next week’s game as well if Cleveland was to advance. The Browns traded for a Harrison this offseason, looking to fill a void after rookie safety Grant Delpit went down in training camp with a season-ending injury.

Harrison has been a solid addition to the Browns secondary, nothing 47 tackles in seven games started. He has also returned an interception for a touchdown and a fumble recovery.

Browns WR Jarvis Landry Feels for Ronnie Harrison

GettyJarvis Landry of the Cleveland Browns.

Someone who knows a bit about heartbreak when it comes to missing a game due to COVID-19 protocols is Browns star, Jarvis Landry. Landry did not test positive but was forced to miss Cleveland’s Week 16 loss against the Jets — a possible playoff clincher — due to being a close contact. Landry feels for Harrison.

“I will start with the type of season he has had,” Landry told reporters. “Since he’s gotten here, he’s been a guy who I have been excited about to be able to take the field with knowing his versatility and his ability to make plays. He’s done that for us in a countless amount of games. I can remember even, I want to say the Colts game, I think he had had a pick-six in that game and that helped turn the tide in that game for us, which is huge if you look back at how all of this Wild Card stuff played out.

“He’s definitely vital to our defense and to our team, and it sucks that he is going through this and missing more games due to COVID. All you can do as a team is hope that he does not have any symptoms, that he feels well and gets through this process. Then you look at the next guy and you see who is the next guy up and try to get that guy ready to play in a playoff game.”

Browns Confident in Defensive Depth for Playoffs

GettyBrowns defensive end Olivier Vernon.

With Harrison out, Karl Joseph and Andrew Sendejo — who was activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday — will be the starting safeties against the Steelers.

“I feel very confident,” Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods told reporters, “because a lot of the guys that (will play), they’ve played in big games, whether it was last week or in primetime games.”

Harrison is not the only key Browns defender who will miss the game. Defensive end Olivier Vernon, who has come on strong in the second half of the season, was placed on IR this week after a ruptured Achilles.

The next man up would be veteran Adrian Clayborn, who has played a rotational role with the Browns. Clayborn has 12 tackles, 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble in 15 games this season. Porter Gustin could also see an increased role for the Browns.

“All those guys are very capable,” Woods said. “We have the ability to have a few different combinations with the guys we will have this week at this point … To get B.J. back, he’s been a leader, really the quarterback of our defense. We’ll fit him in on maybe more of a rotational basis, but it’s definitely good to get back a player that’s played well for us.”

With all the interruptions this week, the Browns are 6-point underdogs against Pittsburgh on Sunday, per Odds Shark.

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