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Mayfield, Keenum still out for Raiders game; Browns activate Johnson from COVID list

Nick Mullens will start at QB
Nick Mullens
Browns helmets
Posted at 10:31 AM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 11:34:10-05

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns take on the Las Vegas Raiders inside FirstEnergy Stadium Monday evening, and after a postponement amid a league-wide COVID-19 outbreak, they'll do so with a few key defensive players back in the mix, but not with the much-hoped-for-return of quarterbacks Baker Mayfield or Case Keenum.

On Monday, the Browns activated safety John Johnson III from the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

The following players have been activated from the practice squad as COVID-19 replacements:

  • CB Brian Allen
  • G Hjalte Froholdt
  • DE Joe Jackson
  • RB John Kelly
  • CB Herb Miller
  • S Jovante Moffatt
  • S Tedric Thompson

Under new requirements outlined by the NFL and NFLPA, vaccinated, asymptomatic players and staff who test positive for the virus now have more ways to "test out" of quarantine.

Those new rules, established Thursday, had already allowed defensive end Takk McKinley to be cleared from the list on Saturday after testing positive on Tuesday, as well as right guard Wyatt Teller, who was cleared on Sunday after testing positive Tuesday.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield, who tested positive on Wednesday, took to Instagram Sunday, sharing that he was asymptomatic and "praying for a negative COVID test." With Mayfield or backup Case Keenum unable to be cleared from the list, third-string quarterback Nick Mullens will get the start with recently re-signed Kyle Lauletta as his backup.

Defense gets some help
The Browns' secondary was one of the harder-hit areas of the roster during the COVID-19 outbreak, with all of the Browns starting safeties ending up on the list, as well as cornerbacks Troy Hill and A.J. Green.

With Johnson back on the active roster, the Browns enter Monday's game at less of a disadvantage than if the game was played on Saturday as originally scheduled.

And that's good news for a Browns team who, with a win on Monday, would find themselves at the top of the AFC North standings and their playoff aspirations more promising than ever.

The bad news is that there are still 22 players who remain on the COVID-19 list.

Browns who remain on the COVID-19 list

Baker Mayfield
Case Keenum
Jarvis Landry
JoJo Natson
Austin Hooper
Jedrick Wills
James Hudson III
Ronnie Harrison
Grant Delpit
Jadeveon Clowney
Kareem Hunt
Jamie Gillan
Mack Wilson
Jacob Phillips
Tony Fields II
Drew Forbes
Malik McDowell
Troy Hill
A.J. Green
Ifeadi Odenigbo
Ross Travis
Nate Meadors

RELATED: NFL changes COVID-19 testing, protocols amid current outbreak

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BROWNS 2021 SCHEDULE

Preseason

WEEK 1 · W · Sat 8/14 · 7:00 PM at Jacksonville Jaguars (23-13)
WEEK 2 · W · Sun 8/22 · 1:00 PM vs. New York Giants (17-13)
WEEK 3 · W · Sun 8/29 · 8:00 PM at Atlanta Falcons (19-10)

Regular Season

WEEK 1 · L ·Sun 9/12 · 4:25 PM EST at Kansas City Chiefs (33-29)

WEEK 2 · W · Thu 9/19 · 1:00 PM EST Houston Texans (31-21)

WEEK 3 · W · Sun 9/26 · 1:00 PM EST Chicago Bears (26-6)

WEEK 4 · W · Sun 10/3 · 1:00 PM EST at Minnesota Vikings (14-7)

WEEK 5 · L· Sun 10/10 · 4:05 PM EST at Los Angeles Chargers (47-42)

WEEK 6 · L· Sun 10/17 · 4:05 PM EST Arizona Cardinals (37-14)

WEEK 7 · W · Thu 10/21 · 8:20 PM EST Denver Broncos (17-14)

WEEK 8 · L · Sun 10/31 · 1:00 PM EST Pittsburgh Steelers (15-10)

WEEK 9 · W · Sun 11/7 · 1:00 PM EST at Cincinnati Bengals (41-16)

WEEK 10 · L · Sun 11/14 · 1:00 PM EST at New England Patriots (45-7)

WEEK 11 · W · Sun 11/21 · 1:00 PM EST Detroit Lions (13-10)

WEEK 12 · L · Sun 11/28 · 8:20 PM EST at Baltimore Ravens (16-10)

WEEK 13 · BYE

WEEK 14 · W · Mon 12/12 · 1:00 PM EST Baltimore Ravens (24-22)

WEEK 15 · L · Mon Dec. 20 · 5:00 PM Las Vegas Raiders (16-14)

WEEK 16 · L · Sat 12/25 · 4:30 PM at Green Bay Packers (24-22)

WEEK 17 · L · Mon 1/3 · 8:15 PM EST at Pittsburgh Steelers (26-14)

WEEK 18 · Sun 1/9 · 1:00 PM EST Cincinnati Bengals (CBS)