The Cleveland Browns closed their training facility for the second straight day on Thursday after two additional COVID-19 positive tests in the organization.
The individuals were not identified by the team, however NFL Network reported that linebacker Malcolm Smith and tight end Harrison Bryant tested positive. Bryant already was on the reserve/COVID-19 list after being in close contact with someone who tested positive.
“The Cleveland Browns were informed of two additional positive COVID-19 test results among our players this morning,” the Browns said in a statement. “The Browns facility is currently closed while contact tracing is conducted to identify any high-risk close contacts. The team will continue to work remotely this morning while following the NFL-NFLPA intensive protocols as the health and safety of our team, staff and the entire community remains our highest priority.”
The Browns also closed their facility on Wednesday after a coach and practice squad player tested positive for COVID-19. The team placed practice squad center Javon Patterson on the reserve/COVID-19 list that day.
It’s the latest COVID-19 issue to face the Browns (10-5), who can clinch their first playoff berth since 2002 with a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in their regular-season finale on Sunday. Even with a loss, the Browns can make the postseason, dependent on the outcome of other games.
On Tuesday, the team put safeties Karl Joseph and Andrew Sendejo, as well as Bryant, on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Last Sunday, in a 23-16 loss to the New York Jets, the Browns played without most of their wide receivers, who were forced to sit out of the game because of contact tracing. Coach Kevin Stefanski said that the group — leading receiver Jarvis Landry (789 yards) plus Rashard Higgins, rookie Donovan Peoples-Jones and KhaDarel Hodge — would come off the reserve list on Thursday.
Linebacker Jacob Phillips also was set to be activated and practice. Starting linebacker B.J. Goodson remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list.