The Browns have a full-blown COVID outbreak. They play in three days, against the Raiders.
According to the league, the game is still on.
“There’s been no discussion of changing the game’s status,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT via email.
The league’s attitude continues to be that the games will be played. With 69 total players available and up to 48 in uniform on game day, that’s a 21-man buffer, already built in.
The real question is how few are too few for a team to safely and responsibly play? Forty? Thirty-five? Thirty? It’s somewhere between 48 and 11, and it’s probably closer to 11 than 48.
Between now and Saturday, we may find out what the number is. Until then, the league office will shed no tears and pull no plugs.
Besides, what would the league do? Delaying the game by a day may only make things worse. And cancelling games (with refunding of tickets and TV rights) isn’t an acceptable option. The only viable plan is to keep going, even if it means allowing the Browns to sign new players on an emergency basis in the name of ensuring that they have 11 players for offense, 11 players for defense, and someone who can kick, punt, and snap.