New York Jets Week 16 opponent arrival delayed by contact tracing

New York Giants, Cleveland Browns

The contending Cleveland Browns are set to take on the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon for the latter’s 2020 home finale.

The Cleveland Browns have announced that a player has tested positive for COVID-19. Contact tracing is being conducted, delaying the team’s departure for New Jersey, where they’re set to battle the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon.

Cleveland has closed its team facility in Berea and is continuing its preparation for the Jets virtually. The Browns (10-4) will be making their second straight visit to MetLife Stadium, previously topping the New York Giants in a flexed Sunday night showdown.



“Earlier today, the Cleveland Browns were informed that a player’s test results have come back positive for COVID-19,” the Browns declared in a team statement. “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.”

The Browns have dealt with their share of COVID-related issues. Offensive lineman Jedrick Wills Jr. and practice squad receiver Ryan Switzer were each placed on the reserve list due to close contact with a positive individual outside the organization. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com has said that Wills, the 10th overall pick of April’s draft, has not tested positive and has been expected to be activated prior to Sunday’s game.

Additionally, star defender Myles Garrett has felt the virus’ lingering aftereffects after testing positive earlier this season. According to ClevelandBrowns.com, Garrett said that he continues to suffer from shortness of breath, remarking “deep big breaths are tough right now” last weekend’s win.

As of yet, there are no changes to the Week 16 schedule. The Browns are likely playoff-bound and destined to partake in the opening weekend of the playoffs on the weekend of January 9-10. Their regular season finale against Pittsburgh could potentially be flexed into the Sunday night spot on January 3, especially if the AFC North division title is on the line.

[UPDATE: 7:00 p.m. ET]: The Browns announced that they had placed four receivers (Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and KhaDarel Hodge) and two linebackers (B.J. Goodson, Jacob Phillips) on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. In their place, they have elevated receiver Ja’Marcus Bradley and Derrick Willies from their practice squad, as well as linebacker Montrel Meander.

The transaction has not been well-received by Landry.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags