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For the second consecutive day, the Cleveland Browns have shut down their practice facility to conduct contact tracing after two more players tested positive for COVID-19.
One of the latest players to test positive is already on the reserve/COVID-19 list and had been in isolation after being identified as a high-risk close contact to another individual who had tested positive outside the building, according to a league source.
The Browns also closed their facility Wednesday after a coach and practice squad player tested positive for the coronavirus. Cleveland reopened its building in the afternoon and practiced for about an hour.
On Tuesday, the Browns placed tight end Harrison Bryant and safeties Karl Joseph and Andrew Sendejo on the reserve/COVID-19 list, then added practice squad center Javon Patterson on Wednesday.
The Browns have been dealing with coronavirus issues since Saturday, when they had to place their top four wide receivers on the reserve/COVID-19 list as high-risk close contacts after they came into contact with another player who had tested positive.
The team is still hopeful to get those receivers — Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones and KhaDarel Hodge — back in the building Thursday. All four have continued to test negative for COVID-19.
Cleveland, however, does not expect to get back Sendejo or starting linebacker B.J. Goodson, who was the first to be put on the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, in time for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The NFL’s Dr. Allen Sills said Wednesday there was no indication that an outbreak within the Browns organization was underway.
“To date, we don’t see any connection among the recent positive cases with the Browns, so there’s no evidence of transmission within the facility,” Sills said. “But obviously we’re going to continue to work through that and continue to monitor the test results on a day-to-day basis.”
Cleveland can clinch its first playoff berth in 17 seasons with a victory over the Steelers.
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