Browns' Gustin goes on COVID-19 list


November 26, 2020 10:13 PM


The Cleveland Browns placed defensive end Porter Gustin on the COVID-19 list, further weakening a group already without star Myles Garrett.

Porter became the third player to be put on the list in the past three days for the Browns, who have been one of the NFL teams hit hardest by the virus.

Gustin is one of five players currently on Cleveland’s list along with Garrett, fullback Andy Janovich, linebacker Sione Takitaki and defensive end Joe Jackson. All will miss Sunday’s game at Jacksonville.

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The Browns activated offensive lineman Chris Hubbard off the list on Thursday. He missed two games after testing positive on Nov. 13.

With Garrett and Gustin out, the Browns’ defensive line will be missing its best player and some depth against the equally short-handed Jaguars (1-9). Cleveland’s defense stepped up without Garrett last week and had five sacks, a safety and touchdown — an interception return by Takitaki — in a win over Philadelphia.

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Also, the Browns will be without top cornerback Denzel Ward. He has a half injury and is expected to miss several games.

The Denver Broncos No. 3 quarterback, Jeff Driskel, has been placed on the COVID-19 list, but contact tracing showed that starter Drew Lock and the Broncos’ other QBs weren’t in danger of being infected by the coronavirus.

Lock, backup Brett Rypien and practice squad QB Blake Bortles all practiced on Thanksgiving after the Broncos consulted with Dr. Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer.

“They have determined that nobody else has to go on the list,” coach Vic Fangio said. “They cleared us to practice.”

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The Cleveland Browns are reporting another positive coronavirus test for an unidentified player, continuing what has become an almost daily pattern over the past two weeks.

The team closed its facility in Berea, Ohio, on Thursday for the third consecutive day to conduct tracing in order to find out if any others are considered high-risk close contacts.

The Atlanta Falcons also halted in-person activities and were working virtually and conducting contact tracing after two non-coaching members of the staff tested positive for COVID-19.

The Browns (7-3) already are missing four players, including star defensive end Myles Garrett, for Sunday’s game at Jacksonville (1-9). Garrett missed last week’s win over Philadelphia after testing positive for the virus.

On Wednesday, the Browns placed starting linebacker Sione Takitaki on the COVID-19 list and kept eight players out of practice as a precaution. Browns coach Kevin Stefanski also had his team practice in shifts to try to control possible spread of the virus.

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Takitaki, who returned an interception for a touchdown against the Eagles, will miss this week’s game, along with fullback Andy Janovich, defensive end Joe Jackson and the unknown new positive player. Stefanski said offensive lineman Chris Hubbard may be returning after testing positive.

The Atlanta Falcons are working virtually on Thanksgiving after two non-coaching members of the staff tested positive for COVID-19.

The Falcons called off practice Thursday and halted all activities at their training center in suburban Flowery Branch, marking the third time this season the team has taken such a step. Positive tests forced the team to work virtually before an Oct. 18 game at Minnesota and a Nov. 8 game against Denver.

The team is conducting contact tracing under the NFL’s coronavirus protocols.

Atlanta (3-7) is set to host the Las Vegas Raiders (6-4) on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. As with the previous shutdowns, the Falcons say this one does not affect the status of the game.‍