Browns activate 3-time Pro-Bowl Guard Joel Bitonio from COVID-19 list

Joel Bitonio
Posted at 11:46 AM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 11:53:43-05

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns have activated three-time Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio from the COVID-19 list. Bitonio tested positive last week along with coach Kevin Stefanski.

It's good news for Bitonio, who as the longest-tenured active player, will make his NFL debut Sunday in the Divisional Playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

While Bitonio was sidelined, Michael Dunn filled in and did well but was injured and left the game against the Steelers, going on the injured/reserve list. Then Blake Hance stepped up, who had never played in an NFL game before and succeeded.

Before the game against the Steelers, the team said they were playing for Bitonio and Stefanski so they could play a postseason game—and now that wish has come to fruition.

“Absolutely. Absolutely. Again, like I just said, the biggest thing is that we always keep in mind that the guys who started with us and who are not here with us and are injured or on the COVID list right now, they are all a part of this, too," said Jarvis Landry. "They are all a part of the reasons why we take the field and all a part of the energy that we bring to be able to get those guys back the following week or for the injured guys, to be able to play football in January and on to February to be able to have something at the end to show for what we have accomplished as a team. Those guys being out is definitely extra motivation to make it another week and win this game for sure.”

Bitonio has been with the team since he was drafted by Cleveland in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

The Browns also waived safety Tedric Thompson on Friday.

RELATED: The Blake Hance story highlights the latest chapter in the Browns' improbable season

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