Several Browns players were recently in the team’s recovery zone with linebacker BJ Goodson, who learned on Saturday he had tested positive for COVID-19, and the NFL had video showing at least one of these players did not properly wear a mask during another interaction, sources said.
These encounters led the NFL to label all of these players – including four of the five recipients of Cleveland’s active roster – as close high-risk contacts, forcing the Browns to place them on the reserve / COVID-19 roster and put them aside for Sunday. game against the Jets.
Sharing the recovery pool – which includes a hot and cold bath – is not in itself a violation of COVID protocols. But NFL medical experts are looking at the cumulative time, distance, mask use, and ventilation in the area where exposure occurred to any positive individual, and whether the threshold is exceeded in two or more of these. four categories, it is labeled high-risk close contact. .
Receivers Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones and KhaDarel Hodge landed on the reserve / COVID-19 roster on Saturday, alongside Goodson and linebacker Jacob Phillips. The only receiver remaining on the active roster is Marvin Hall, who hasn’t played a cinch for the Browns since they claimed him for exemptions a few weeks ago. They bred receivers Ja’Marcus Bradley and Derrick Willies, as well as linebacker Montrel Meander, from the practice squad.
The Browns learned of Goodson’s positive test on Saturday morning and began working with the NFL on contact tracing, which includes interviews, data from the trackers all players and other staff wear and reviewing the video. This process delayed the team’s flight to New Jersey for several hours before finally leaving around 7 p.m. ET.
The NFL has repeatedly stated that it will not postpone or cancel games for competitive reasons, including a team exhausted or wiped out at one position. Now, just like the Broncos quarterback situation last month, the Browns will play a game without their top four receivers.