CLEVELAND (AP) — Browns coach Kevin Stefanski would not disclose whether star running back Nick Chubb is experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, leaving his status for Sunday's game against New England uncertain.
Chubb tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday along with rookie running back/wide receiver Demetric Felton.
Both were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and will need to be symptom free and have two negative tests 24 hours apart to be eligible to face the Patriots. Chubb and Felton are both vaccinated.
Chubb ran for 137 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's win at Cincinnati.
The Browns are dealing with a minor virus outbreak.
On Wednesday, they had their fifth positive test in three days as backup guard Nick Harris was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Stefanski said the second-year lineman was the only new positive test.
With Chubb and Felton currently out, the Browns (5-4) are running out of running backs.
Kareem Hunt is on injured reserve with a calf injury and is not ready to return. Stefanksi said the versatile Hunt will not be designated for return this week.
For now, third-stringer D'Ernest Johnson, who rushed for a career-high 146 yards in his first NFL start in a win over Denver on Oct. 21, has moved into the starting spot.
Because of the recent COVID-19 cases, the Browns are this week following enhanced protocols, which include daily testing for players and staff. Also, the team is only meeting virtually, wearing masks inside the facility and their cafeteria is closed.
The Browns were one of the league's hardest-hit teams by the virus in 2020 so this is nothing new. Stefanski missed last season's playoff win in Pittsburgh after a positive test.
“It’s things that we’ve done before and we know virtual meetings are not ideal,” Stefanski said "But we also understand that you can cover a lot of ground in them.”
NOTES: Rookie LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is practicing after missing three games with a high ankle sprain. Stefanski said they'll ease him back and see how he looks at the end of the week before deciding if he'll play.
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Tom Withers, The Associated Press