Despite having an extra two days to get players healthy, it doesn't look like the Cleveland Browns will be playing with their starting or backup quarterback.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported on Monday that neither Baker Mayfield nor Case Keenum have been able to test out of the NFL's COVID-19 protocols, and therefore won't be able to start against the Las Vegas Raiders.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 20, 2021
Nick Mullens, who was the team's practice squad QB until recently, is in line to make the start. The 26-year-old has made 16 NFL starts since 2018, all for the San Francisco 49ers. He's thrown 25 touchdowns, but has also thrown 22 interceptions.
Mayfield had been hopeful that he'd be able to come off the list in time for Monday's game.
"Blessed to be healthy and have had no symptoms," Mayfield wrote in an Instagram Story. "Praying to test negative for COVID."
Browns get John Johnson back
Cleveland's game against the Raiders was originally supposed to be played on Saturday, but ended up being one of several games the NFL decided to postpone in light of ongoing COVID-19 issues. The Browns had over 20 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list by Friday, and likely would have had to forfeit if the NFL hadn't stepped in and postponed the game.
While Mayfield and Keenum are reportedly not coming off the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday, the Browns are getting one player back. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, safety John Johnson will be returning on Monday.
The Browns already got guard Wyatt Teller back from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Sunday, but defensive end Jadeveon Clowney took his place and will not be available for Monday's game. Head coach Kevin Stefanski will also reportedly remain out for Monday's game.