The Browns have 20 players on their reserve / COVID-19 roster and head coach Kevin Stefanski is on the league’s COVID-19 protocol heading into their Week 15 game against the Raiders.
The biggest damage to the Browns’ roster has been the quarterback position. Starter Baker Mayfield and second stringer Case Keenum tested positive for COVID-19 and will not participate in Saturday’s game. That leaves third-row quarterback Nick Mullens to take on the starting role.
The COVID-19 situation could hurt the Browns’ chances of a playoff spot if the low-handed team fails to beat the Raiders. Cleveland is tied with four other teams (the Colts, Bills, Bengals and Broncos) at 7-6 in the AFC wild-card race.
Here’s a look at the Browns quarterback depth chart.
Browns QB depth chart
1. Baker Mayfield
Mayfield joined the Browns in 2018 as the first overall pick in the draft and became their starting quarterback in Week 4. This season, he has dealt with multiple injuries but only missed one game.
Mayfield has been playing with a partial labrum tear in his left shoulder (non-pitcher) that he sustained in Week 2 against the Texans. He compounded the injury in Week 6 against the Cardinals and missed the Browns’ next game against the Broncos. Mayfield left the team’s Week 10 game against the Patriots early with a knee injury, but returned the following week.
So far this season, Mayfield has completed 216 of 344 passes for 2,603 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has also thrown seven interceptions.
On Wednesday morning, Mayfield tested positive for COVID-19. According to ESPN’s Adam SchefterMayfield felt “completely normal” after his positive test, so he was reportedly asymptomatic.
2. Keenum case
In his ninth season in the NFL and his second with the Browns, Keenum has played in three games, with one start, as Mayfield’s backup.
Keenum’s start came in Week 7 against the Broncos, one of Keenum’s former teams. The Browns won 17-14. He completed 21 of 33 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown. Overall this season, he’s thrown for 286 yards and a TD …
After news broke of Mayfield’s positive test, Keenum was projected to start Saturday against the Raiders. That was until Thursday afternoon, when Keenum himself tested positive for COVID-19. Now Keenum will also be out this weekend.
3. Nick Mullens
Mullens is in his first year with the Browns after playing for the 49ers from 2018-20 and starting 16 games for them. He has yet to play for the Browns this season.
In the 2018 and 2020 seasons with the 49ers, the years in which he made those starts, he totaled 4,714 yards and 25 touchdowns per pass.
Mullens was hired to the Browns’ 53-man roster from their practice squad Thursday morning after Mayfield’s positive COVID-19 test. He had been on the practice team since the Browns signed him in August. With Keenum testing positive, Mullens will make his Browns debut on Saturday against the Raiders.