Hours before one AFC North team is set to kick off a thrice-rescheduled game due to one of this season's most prominent COVID-19 outbreaks, another closed its facilities after receiving results of a positive COVID test on Wednesday. But the Cleveland Browns have already reopened their doors with plans for a full afternoon practice after a staff member apparently contracted the virus. They are scheduled to visit the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
Contact tracing to identify any potential high-risk close contacts was underway early Wednesday, the Browns said, adding that the team would consult with the NFL and league medical experts "on the appropriate next steps." The team's Week 13 matchup does not appear to be in jeopardy, although additional positive tests in the coming days could obviously prompt the NFL's hand.
This isn't the first time the Browns have had to close their facilities due to COVID-19 concerns in 2020. In fact, Cleveland shuttered its Berea, Ohio, complex twice in November out of an abundance of caution, first ahead of their Nov. 15 matchup with the Houston Texans and then again before Sunday's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The NFL has mandated that all teams remain in intensive COVID-19 protocol for the remainder of the season so as to cut down on potential spread of the virus.