The Cleveland Browns have released the following statement in regards to a positive COVID-19 test from a player.
“Earlier today, the Cleveland Browns were informed that a player’s test results have come back positive for COVID-19. Our facility is closed and our flight to New Jersey has been delayed while contact tracing is being conducted. The team is holding meetings remotely as we continue to consult with the NFL and medical experts on the appropriate next steps as the health and safety of our players, coaches, staff and the entire community remains our highest priority.”
Until the Browns finish with their contact tracing to find the extent of the issue, they won't take their flight to play the New York Jets.
The positive test has also delayed the Browns from being able to activate left tackle Jedrick Wills and wide receiver Ryan Switzer, who were both placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, deemed close contacts earlier in the week.
As they haven't been with the team, it would seem pretty safe that neither one of them tested positive for for COVID-19.
Per Tom Withers of the Associated Press, the flight was scheduled to leave at 2:45pm. It's not likely to be too much longer than that to determine the results of contact tracing, since the player presumably tested positive in the morning.
In the past, it's usually around 4pm when they are confident enough to release their findings regarding contact tracing, placing players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
The challenge for the Browns is that when a player tests positive on Saturday, the day before the game, practices for the week and the game plan are done and it can be difficult to change at this point, depending on the player that comes back positive.
The offensive line stands out as a particularly vulnerable spot as they've been dealing with being shorthanded already. Whoever tests positive will be out against the Jets as well as the Pittsburgh Steelers next week. Hopefully, that player can be ready and able to contribute in the playoffs.