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JC Tretter, starting center for the Cleveland Browns and president of the NFLPA, announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 and will sit out Saturday due to “mild cold-like symptoms.”
Tretter spoke with ESPN’s Jake Trotter on his decision: “That is just something that I would like to do to feel more comfortable. I know there are a lot of guys around the league who will make the choice, as well. That was really our goal was providing guys choices on how to get through the rest of the season.”
This upcoming Week 16, the Browns will face off against the Green Bay Packers — who boast the NFL’s best record at 11-3 the best team in the league. A win against Green Bay in the final weeks of the regular season will prove impactful for the Browns, a team on the cusp of making the postseason.
Cleveland is 7-7 on the season and expecting to welcome a flurry of Browns players that were placed on the COVID reserve list ahead of Week 15’s matchup against the Raiders. A depleted Browns roster, also missing head coach Kevin Stefanski, lost 16-14 to the Las Vegas Raiders. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens filled in for a missing Baker Mayfield, but the team was still spearheaded by recently named 2021 Pro Bowl selection, Nick Chubb. He ran for 91 yards on 23 attempts.
While most Browns fans clamor for Tretter to push through the illness, the standard set by the veteran does showcase how the NFL’s pivot to entrust their players to sit out with a case of COVID will prove more sustainable than testing vaccinated players on a daily basis.
Key Browns players exiting the health and safety protocols for the Packers matchup include wideout Jarvis Landry, tight end Austin Hooper, linebacker Jacob Phillips and the aforementioned Baker Mayfield.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela