- ESPN Staff Writer
- Previously a college football writer for The Dallas Morning News
- University of North Texas graduate
CINCINNATI — Bengals running back Joe Mixon tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and will not play in Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Bengals also will be without starting quarterback Joe Burrow, who will sit out vs. the Browns to rest his “sore” right knee and injured right pinkie for the playoffs, coach Zac Taylor said. Backup Brandon Allen is expected to get the start.
Mixon’s test result came back Wednesday, sources said, and he becomes the seventh Bengals player on the active roster to be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Four starters — safety Vonn Bell, defensive end Trey Hendrickson, left guard Quinton Spain and center Trey Hopkins — were placed on the list Tuesday.
Mixon ranks second in the NFL this season with 1,205 rushing yards on 292 attempts — an average of 4.1 yards per carry — with 13 touchdowns, which ranks fourth among rushers. He also has caught 42 passes for 314 yards and 3 TDs.
He joined Hendrickson and rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase as first-time Pro Bowl selections this season. The Bengals (10-6) clinched the AFC North title this past Sunday to secure their first playoff berth since 2015.
Burrow, who added that he is healthy enough to play, expects to practice this week. He has started all 16 games this season, throwing for 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns while completing an NFL-best 70.4% of his passes.
“Any time you can get a little break at this point in the season,” Burrow said. “You know, we played a lot of games. Bodies are starting to wear down a little bit. Rest me this week and get my body back to where it needs to be so I can get back to full strength running around the way I need to be Week 1 of the playoffs.”
The Bengals (10-6) are currently in the No. 3 spot in the AFC playoff seedings, having clinched the AFC North. They have two scenarios where they could clinch the AFC’s No. 1 seed, with both requiring a victory vs. the Browns coupled with losses by the Titans and Chiefs. In addition, Cincinnati would also need the Bills to beat the Jets or the Patriots to lose or tie vs. Miami.
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