Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. Sent Home With Illness

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Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was sent home on Thursday with an illness.

Beckham hasn't tested positive for COVID-19, coach Kevin Stefanski announced at a press conference on Thursday. The three-time Pro Bowler took a COVID-19 test before leaving on Thursday, and the team will know the results by Friday. 

"How the protocols are, you have to be careful," Stefanski said. "I don't want to assume anything. With all our guys, we'll make sure we follow the protocols and just be safe."

Stefanski added that Beckham "was feeling under the weather, so we sent him home out of an abundance of caution."

The Browns (4–1) will travel to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers (4–0) in an AFC North clash on Sunday. Beckham has contributed to their strong start by catching 21 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns while adding 72 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.

When asked what Cleveland would do if Beckham missed the showdown in Pittsburgh, Stefanski dismissed the idea.

"I don't know if I want to go there yet," he said. "Obviously, he's a big part of what we do."

Later on Thursday, NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said teams will start to be more cautious with sick players as cold and flu season approaches. 

"You will start to see more players, coaches and staff missing days of practice and even games because of symptoms," Sills said. "Even if they have a negative [COVID] test that day, we're going to hold that individual out of the facility."

Kickoff for Sunday's game is set for 1 p.m. ET.