Browns put their best player on COVID list 2 days before facing Eagles originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
That announcement came minutes after the Browns announced that a player had tested positive for COVID-19.
This means the Eagles will not have to face one of the best defensive players in the entire NFL when they head to Cleveland for a 1 p.m. kickoff on Sunday. It’s hard to overstate just how good Garrett is and it’ll be interesting to see if the betting line changes.
"Obviously he’s a tremendous football player and he’s definitely in the discussions for Defensive Player of the Year," Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said on Friday morning. "He’s having a heck of a season. Leader of that football team. Listen, I can’t speak specifically on their behalf, but I know that if it was one of our players in that position, it’s a blow. But you know what, just like us the next guy steps up, the next guy has to play, the next guy’s gonna be prepared and play hard. There’s 10 other guys on that defense that can also play and it’s a good defense. We’ve gotta be ready. We’ve gotta be focused in and dialed in on what we’re doing."
This season, Garrett leads the NFL in sacks with 9 1/2 and has also forced a league-high four fumbles. While Garrett has been on the defensive left more than the right this season, he would have gone against both Lane Johnson and Jason Peters on Sunday.
“From what I see, I’d say outside of Aaron Donald, he’s the best defensive player in the league -- one of them,” Johnson said earlier this week. “He’s that talented.”
Earlier this week, the Browns had to briefly shut down their facility because of COVID-19. Garrett is the fourth Browns player to be placed on the COVID-19 list this week, following RT Jack Conklin, K Cody Parkey and LS Charley Hughlett.
The Eagles on Thursday were forced to place four of their own players on the NFL’s Reserve/COVID-19 list: Vinny Curry, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Corey Clement and Deontay Burnett.
The Browns and the Eagles are now in the NFL’s intensive protocol and the rest of the NFL will join them in that protocol starting on Saturday for the rest of the season. As COVID-19 cases rise around the country, they have also risen in the NFL. So the league is tightening up in an attempt to finish out this season.
Basically, the intensive protocol means more virtual meetings, requires face covering be worn by players during practice and also enforces distancing guidelines.
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