Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is still not back at practice on Friday. The star was sent home with an illness on Thursday out of “an abundance of caution” because of concerns around COVID-19.
The Browns are heading into an AFC North battle against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 6. They’re seeking their first win in Pittsburgh in 17 years.
Beckham sent home due to illness
The Browns got back their COVID-19 testing from Thursday and all are negative, per Mary Kay Cabot at Cleveland.com.
Beckham will still miss Friday’s practice due to new NFL guidelines issued Thursday, per the report. He will have to test negative again within 24 hours to be cleared to rejoin the team.
The NFL is requiring teams to keep anyone who displays symptoms of COVID-19, or the similar flu-like symptoms, out of team facilities. It applies even if the COVID-19 test is negative and the symptoms are likely from the cold or the flu.
NFL CMO Allen Sills on players sent home with symptoms, but not a positive COVID-19 test: "Because there's so much overlap (in symptoms), we have to assume it could be COVID. ... I think we'll see that happening more and more frequently."
This one will be an issue, no doubt.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 15, 2020
Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, told Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer “because there’s so much overlap [in symptoms], we have to assume it could be COVID.”
Head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters on Wednesday that Beckham hadn’t tested positive for COVID-19 and was “just feeling under the weather ... just an abundance of caution.”
Colts close facility after several positive tests
The Browns beat the Indianapolis Colts, 32-23, at home in Week 5. The Colts announced Friday they were immediately closing their facility after learning that “several individuals” tested positive for COVID-19.
There is likely concern of a spread from one team to another given the positive tests and long incubation period.
There were also positive tests in the Atlanta Falcons organization this week. The Falcons shut down their facility and worked remotely on Thursday after one positive test. The team reopened it on Friday.
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