CLEVELAND — As the COVID-19 outbreak on the Cleveland Browns continues to develop, the team placed eight players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Friday afternoon and removed one.
The following players were officially added to the Reserve/COVID-19 list Friday:
- S Grant Delpit
- LB Tony Fields II
- CB A.J. Green
- S Ronnie Harrison Jr.
- RB Kareem Hunt
- QB Case Keenum
- LB Jacob Phillips
- LB Mack Wilson
Hunt, Wilson and Field were new additions to the list Friday. News 5 previously confirmed the other players on the list had tested positive.
The Browns say all the players were vaccinated and almost all were asymptomatic.
Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney also tested positive for COVID-19 after being ill but testing negative Thursday. He will be added to the list officially on Saturday.
When Clowney is added tomorrow, the team will have 24 players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, including quarterback Baker Mayfield, tight end Austin Hooper, wide receiver Jarvis Landry and offensive linemen Jedrick Wills and Wyatt Teller. Defensively, the Browns also saw safeties John Johnson III, Grant Delpit and Ronnie Harrison all test positive for COVID-19, as well as cornerbacks Troy Hill and A.J. Green and linemen Takk McKinley and Malik McDowell.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski and acting running backs coach Ryan Cordell also tested positive for the virus, despite Stefanski disclosing the fact that he had received his booster shot. On Friday, offensive assistant coach T.C. McCartney also tested positive for COVID-19.
The good news is that one player came off the list Friday, with linebacker Anthony Walker activated from the list and cleared to play in their recently postponed game now scheduled for Monday.
Walker was placed on the Resrve/COVID-19 on Dec. 9, along with punter Jamie Gillan, who remains on the list.
The NFL, after discussions with the NFLPA, updated the testing protocol that is required for a fully vaccinated player or staff member who is asymptomatic for at least 24 hours and tests positive for the virus to "test out" of quarantine and return to team activities. Those changes could help more Browns players come off the list before the new game day.
On Friday afternoon, the NFL announced the postponement of the Browns game against the Las Vegas Raiders scheduled for Saturday afternoon, as well as two other games with teams dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks.
"We have made these schedule changes based on medical advice and after discussion with the NFLPA as we are seeing a new, highly transmissible form of the virus this week resulting in a substantial increase in cases across the league," the NFL said in a statement.
The Browns will continue to monitor the situation as the team prepares to take on the Raiders at FirstEnergy Stadium Monday at 5 p.m.
Following the roster moves and game postponement, the Browns issued the following statement:
While our team and entire organization diligently prepared for tomorrow's game as initially scheduled, both from an on-field and fan-experience standpoint, we respect the NFL's decision to postpone our matchup against the Raiders to Monday at 5 p.m. ET. As always, our top priority is the health and well-being of our community, coaches, players and their families, whether that is related to COVID-19 or player safety factors. Our team has consistently adhered to the league's COVID-19 protocols during the past two seasons, and we will continue to operate in a manner that meets and oftentimes exceeds the guidelines dictated by the league and its medical experts.
We fully recognize the fluidity of the situation, including Browns personnel who may be available this week, and remain in constant communication with the NFL. The team conducted virtual meetings and a virtual walkthrough this morning and plans to hold a practice tomorrow at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus as we continue to prepare for the Raiders game. Although we are unable to disclose specifics, we are fortunate that every member of our organization who has recently tested positive was vaccinated, the majority of which are currently asymptomatic or experiencing mild symptoms.
As we have done throughout the 2021 season, the Browns and FirstEnergy Stadium on Monday will continue to have various health and safety measures in place for our fans and staff members, including reliable access to hand sanitizer, comprehensive cleaning and disinfecting regimens, and more throughout the venue. In addition, as recommended by the CDC, the Browns strongly encourage everyone, regardless of their vaccination status, to wear masks in indoor spaces; unvaccinated individuals are asked to wear a mask at all times; and vaccinated persons should consider doing the same when unable to socially distance. Ticket holders with questions about ticket policies should contact a Browns ticket office representative.
Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.
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