Baker Mayfield calls out NFL as Browns lose another QB to COVID-19 protocols

The Cleveland Browns may have to use third-string quarterback Nick Mullens in a must-win game in Week 15. The team will reportedly place Case Keenum on the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday as cases surge within the team, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

The Browns are among the teams hit hardest by COVID-19. The team placed eight players on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, and have experienced additional positives Wednesday and Thursday. Quarterback Baker Mayfield and head coach Kevin Stefanski were among those placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Mayfield wasn't happy about how the league handled the team's COVID-19 situation, calling out the NFL on Twitter.

Mayfield did not elaborate on his "making only 3 teams test" statement.

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Mayfield also accused the NFL of not caring about player safety.

Mayfield claims the Browns were not tested in the morning Thursday and were able to practice. The team was then tested after practice, which caused Mayfield to wonder if "something seems off here."

Teams in enhanced protocols reportedly tried to not test asymptomatic, vaccinated players but the NFLPA stepped in, which could clear up Mayfield's confusion.

The NFL and NFLPA worked together to introduce new COVID-19 protocols, which were released Thursday. Browns center J.C. Tretter is the NFLPA president.


Keenum was penciled in to start once Mayfield was put on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Keenum said he was excited to play with running back Nick Chubb in the backfield. Chubb was injured when Keenum started against the Denver Broncos in Week 7.

With Keenum also sidelined, the team may have to turn to Mullens in Week 15. Mullens made eight starts with the San Francisco 49ers last season, throwing 12 touchdowns against 12 interceptions. He completed 64.7 percent of his passes.

NFL plans to play Browns game as scheduled

In addition to Keenum, the Browns reportedly had four defensive players test positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the team's total to 20 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list.


The NFL plans to play the game as scheduled, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.

It would reportedly take more positives before the league considers adjusting its schedule. The Browns are slated to play the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday. At 7-6, the Browns are in the playoff hunt in the AFC.

The NFL introduced new COVID-19 protocols Thursday, under which vaccinated and asymptomatic NFL players would need one negative COVID-19 test and one negative rapid-result swab to return to action. Those won't go into effect until Monday, however.

Baker Mayfield with the Browns.
Baker Mayfield isn't happy with the NFL. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)