CLEVELAND (WJW)– Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield expressed his frustration with the NFL’s COVID-19 testing policies on Thursday.
The QB is one of nearly two dozen Browns players to test positive for the virus this week. The list includes head coach Kevin Stefanski, tight end Austin Hooper and much of the Browns secondary.
On Thursday, the NFL released updated COVID protocols in response to a recent increase in cases, moving to remote meetings and no in-person meals. It also said it’s adjusting its return-to-play requirement for those who have recovered from COVID, but the statement did not elaborate. The prior policy required two negative tests.
“Actually caring about player safety would mean delaying the game with this continuing at the rate it is,” Mayfield said. “But to say you won’t test vaccinated players if they don’t have symptoms, then to pull this randomly. Doesn’t make any sense to me.”
“Make up your damn mind on protocols. Showing up and making only three teams test?!? All so you can keep the game as scheduled to make money.”
Earlier in the day, defensive end Myles Garrett said he’d like to see some changes with the testing policy.
“The lack of testing we’ve done all year I kind of feel has led to this point. Only testing one time a week and guys doing their own thing on Monday and Tuesday with their time off. It’s kind of recipe for disaster,” Garrett said.
Meanwhile, Browns center and NFL Players Association President JC Tretter has been pushing for more testing all season.
The Browns, who need to win at least three of their last four games for a shot at the playoffs, will also be without QB Case Keenum, one of the latest to test positive. That means practice squad member Nick Mullens is next in line for Saturday’s game against the Raiders.