The Browns have 20 players on their COVID-19/reserve list and head coach Kevin Stefanski is in the league’s COVID-19 protocol heading into their Week 15 game against the Raiders.
The biggest damage to the Browns’ roster has been to the quarterback position. Starter Baker Mayfield and second-stringer Case Keenum have both tested positive for COVID-19 and will sit out Saturday’s game. That leaves third-string QB Nick Mullens to step into the starting role.
The COVID-19 situation could hurt the Browns’ chances for a playoff berth if the short-handed team fails to beat the Raiders. Cleveland is tied with four other teams (the Colts, Bills, Bengals and Broncos) at 7-6 in the race for wild-card berths in the AFC.
Here’s a look at the Browns’ quarterback depth chart.
COVID-19 TRACKER: Updated team-by-team list of players in protocol for Week 15
Browns QB depth chart
1. Baker Mayfield
Mayfield joined the Browns in 2018 as the first overall pick in the draft and became their starting quarterback in Week 4. This season, he has dealt with several injuries but has only missed one game.
Mayfield has been playing through a partial labrum tear in his left (non-throwing) shoulder that he suffered in Week 2 vs. the Texans. He aggravated the injury in Week 6 against the Cardinals and missed the Browns’ following game vs. the Broncos. Mayfield left the team’s Week 10 game vs. the Patriots early with a knee injury, but he returned the following week.
So far this season, Mayfield has completed 216 of 344 passes for 2,603 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has also thrown seven interceptions.
Wednesday morning, Mayfield tested positive for COVID-19. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Mayfield felt “completely normal” after his positive test, so he was supposedly asymptomatic.
2. Case Keenum
In his ninth NFL season and his second with the Browns, Keenum has played in three games, with one start, as the backup to Mayfield.
Keenum’s start came in Week 7 against the Broncos, one of Keenum’s former teams. The Browns won 17-14. He completed 21 of 33 passes for 199 yards and one touchdown. Overall this season, he has thrown for 286 yards and the one TD..
After news of Mayfield’s positive test broke, Keenum was projected to start Saturday vs. the Raiders. That was until Thursday afternoon, when Keenum himself tested positive for COVID-19. Now Keenum will be sitting out this weekend as well.
3. Nick Mullens
Mullens is in his first year with the Browns after playing with the 49ers from 2018-20 and starting 16 games for them. He has yet to play for the Browns this season.
In the 2018 and 2020 seasons with the 49ers, the years in which he made those starts, he totaled 4,714 yards and 25 touchdowns passing.
Mullens was signed to the Browns’ 53-man roster from their practice squad Thursday morning after Mayfield’s positive COVID-19 test. He had been on the practice squad since the Browns signed him in August. With Keenum’s positive test, Mullens will make his Browns debut Saturday vs. the Raiders.
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