The Cleveland Browns and Odell Beckham Jr. can breathe a sigh of relief.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has been cleared to play in this Sunday’s game against AFC rival the Pittsburgh Steelers after receiving a second a negative COVID-19 test. This news comes after Beckham was sent home from Thursday (Oct.15) practice with an unspecified illness Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reported on Saturday (Oct.17).
Not willing to take a risk during these crazy times, Browns’ head coach Kevin Stefanski said he sent Beckham home despite not testing positive for COVID-19 at the time out of “abundance of caution.” Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Stefanski said:
“I think we’ve been on high alert. I think that’s just 2020. We just make sure that we’re following every protocol there is and keep everybody safe.”
“With this day and age, you just have to be so careful in this environment. So just want to make sure we’re being proactive in that regard.”
As he should.
Unlike the NBA, WNBA, and NHL, which managed to keep COVID-19 from ruining their restarted seasons, the NFL has seen an alarming number of positive cases being that the league has opted not to put its players in a bubble, like those other professional sports leagues. Just recently, the Indianapolis Colts announced on Friday (Oct.16) the team facilities will be closed while they confirmed several positive COVID-19 test results within the organization.
The Jacksonville Jaguars also announced today that it will be closing its facility after a player tested positive for COVID-19, ESPN reports. The team is scheduled to play host to the Detroit Lions at 1 p.m. ET at TIAA Bank Field on Sunday and, according to a statement, are still preparing to play that game.
The Patriots, who had several players test positive for COVID-19, including star quarterback Cam Newton, and All-Pro defensive back Stephon Gilmore, announced another player had tested positive for the virus. The team abruptly closed its facility on Friday after the positive result but have since reopened it on Saturday. Newtown and Gilmore have also returned to practice, and the team is still on schedule to host the Denver Broncos.
The NFL has a COVID-19 problem. The league will be shuffling games and closing facilities all season long until they decide they should follow the NBA’s footsteps and figure out some sort of bubble situation.
Photo: Jason Miller / Getty