The NFL is facing mounting COVID chaos. A day after 37 players tested positive, nearly another three dozen — including Odell Beckham Jr. and Chiefs Pro Bowl defensive tackle Chris Jones — were placed in the NFL’s COVID protocols with the Rams and Browns being hit particularly hard.
For the Browns, it is the second straight season they are dealing with a major COVID-19 outbreak during their playoff push.
Cleveland’s postseason hopes took a hit Tuesday when the team placed eight players, including top wide receiver Jarvis Landry, tight end Austin Hooper and starting offensive linemen Wyatt Teller and Jedrick Wills Jr. on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Those players will all likely miss Saturday’s crucial game against the Raiders (6-7).
With Cleveland playing Saturday, it’s going to be difficult for any of the affected players to be available. To be eligible, any vaccinated player on the COVID-19 list must be asymptomatic and have two negative tests in a 24-hour period. An unvaccinated player must sit out 10 days.
For the Rams, Beckham, safety Jordan Fuller and eight teammates went on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, giving the Rams 13 total players on the list.
Coach Sean McVay said the Rams have shut down their training complex in Thousand Oaks for at least two days under the NFL’s intensive protocols. They will conduct meetings virtually Wednesday and won’t hold a practice, although they were unlikely to hold a significant workout anyway on a short week of preparation to host Seattle on Sunday.
The Rams also activated tight end Tyler Higbee from the reserve/COVID-19 list, indicating he missed Monday night’s 30-23 win at the Cardinals due to a false positive.
Jones’ Chiefs, who saw wide receiver Josh Gordon test positive on Monday, face the Chargers in a critical AFC West game on Thursday night in Southern California.