Browns-Raiders game postponed to Monday because of COVID cases

December 17, 2021
Cleveland Browns starting quarterback Baker Mayfield and head coach Kevin Stefanski have both tested positive for COVID.
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The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to postpone the Cleveland Browns’ game against the Las Vegas Raiders game to Monday. 

The game will be played at 5 p.m. as a part of a Monday night doubleheader with the Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears already scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, it also appears likely that the Los Angeles Rams game against the Seahawks and Washington Football Team’s game against the Eagles will also be postponed.  

Officials from the NFL and NFL Players are in advanced discussions regarding postponing the Cleveland Browns’ game against the Las Vegas Raiders because of the high number of COVID-19 cases that Cleveland has sustained. 

Plans would call for the game to be moved from Saturday to Monday. The game would remain in Cleveland, a person with knowledge of the deliberations told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke with the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to share information and talks. 

The Browns have placed more than 20 players on the COVID-reserve list in the last week. More than a dozen of those players are key starters. Quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Case Keenum, and head coach Kevin Stefanski are all sidelined with the virus. 

The NFL has made it clear that it will not postpone games because of competitive disadvantage. But the high number of players sidelined could cause safety risks. 

It’s possible that the Browns could receive reinforcements within the next couple days because the NFL’s protocols for return to action (updated this week) allow players to test out of quarantine sooner than the standard 10-day window. Any vaccinated player or coach who is asymptomatic and able to produce two negative tests taken at the same time can return to action as long as their viral levels are below the threshold that would make them contagious. 

In the last week, more than 100 players league-wide have tested positive for COVID-19. The Browns, Rams and Washington all have more than 20 positive cases. 

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