COVID-19 has impacted the league tremendously this week, including an increasing number of positive tests within the Cleveland Browns organization, who were set to host the Raiders on Saturday. That is no longer the case, as the league has rescheduled the Raiders-Browns game for Monday at 2 p.m. PT as the Browns’ COVID-19 situation has worsened with seemingly each passing day.
The NFL had said all week that they were having no discussions about the possibility of rescheduling the matchup, but mounting pressure from the Players Association and others, as well as the outbreak within the Browns organization, forced the league’s hand.
The Browns were facing the possibility of playing against the Raiders with their third-string quarterback and an interim head coach as all three of starting QB Baker Mayfield, backup QB Case Keenum, and head coach Kevin Stefanski are currently in COVID-19 protocols.
According to Adam Schefter, the league is also considering rescheduling Rams-Seahawks and Washington Football Team-Eagles for Tuesday due to outbreaks within the Rams and Washington organizations. Last season, an outbreak in the Ravens organization caused a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers to be rescheduled multiple times before being played on a Wednesday afternoon.
It remains to be seen who will come off the Reserve/COVID-19 list for the Browns by the time the game is played. Yesterday, the NFL announced updated COVID-19 protocols to allow vaccinated players and personnel to return to their teams quicker than they were previously able to.
The Raiders have ruled out TE Darren Waller, LB Denzel Perryman, and CB Trayvon Mullen Jr. for the game against the Browns due to injury. DE Carl Nassib was limited during practice this week and may benefit from the extra rest before gameday.
The Raiders currently stand at 6-7 and last-place in the AFC West, while the Browns are 7-6, in second-place, and only one game behind the Baltimore Ravens for the top spot in the AFC North.
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