February 25, 2021

Cleveland Browns coach, practice squad player test positive for COVID-19

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BEREA, Ohio — The Cleveland Browns reopened their facility for practice Wednesday afternoon after closing it earlier in the day to conduct contact tracing following a coach and a practice squad player testing positive for COVID-19.

The Browns have battled issues with the coronavirus since Saturday, when they had to place their entire receiving corps on the reserve/COVID-19 list as high-risk close contacts after they came into contact with another player who had tested positive.

Receivers Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones and KhaDarel Hodge and linebackers B.J. Goodson and Jacob Phillips all missed Cleveland’s loss to the New York Jets.

On Tuesday, the Browns added tight end Harrison Bryant and safeties Karl Joseph and Andrew Sendejo to the reserve/COVID-19 list, then Wednesday placed practice squad center Javon Patterson on the list, as well.

Even with Cleveland adding players to the virus list, the NFL’s Dr. Allen Sills said there is no indication that an outbreak within the Browns organization is underway.

“To date, we don’t see any connection among the recent positive cases with the Browns, so there’s no evidence of transmission within the facility,” Dr. Sills said. “But obviously we’re going to continue to work through that and continue to monitor the test results on a day to day basis.”

The Browns do not expect to get Sendejo or Goodson back for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers but are hopeful the other players, including the receivers, will be able to rejoin the team, beginning Thursday, should they continue to test negative for the coronavirus.

The Browns did get some much-needed help for their short-handed secondary Wednesday, as they activated Ronnie Harrison Jr. The starting safety had missed the last four games with a shoulder injury. Harrison had a pick-six against Indianapolis earlier this season to go along with 32 tackles.

Cleveland can clinch its first playoff berth in 17 seasons with a victory over the Steelers.

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert contributed to this report.

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