Report: Browns TE Harrison Bryant and LB Malcolm Smith tested positive for COVID-19

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Jeff Risdon
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Preliminary reports, including one from Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, indicate that the two Cleveland Browns players who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday are tight end Harrison Bryant and linebacker Malcolm Smith.

Because of the positive test and timeline, both Bryant and Smith will be out for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bryant has taken over as the Browns’ No. 2 tight end, while Smith serves as a starting LB. With fellow LB B.J. Goodson already ruled out due to his own positive test, the Browns’ linebacking corps will be very thin facing the 12-3 Steelers.

Bryant has been in isolation prior to the positive test, per Pelissero. It is unknown precisely when he contracted the virus. The diagnosis closed the Browns facility and canceled practice for the second day in a row on New Year’s Eve.

David Njoku figures to take over Bryant’s reps on offense, with Stephen Carlson bumping up to the No. 3 TE spot.

The official NFL transaction log will confirm the reports. That gets published at 4 p.m. ET.