‘Make up your damn mind!’ Player rages, NFL updates COVID-19 protocols after massive outbreak

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The Cleveland Browns, an NFL team, is currently embroiled in a COVID crisis, with a number of players and even the team’s quarterback and coach having reportedly tested positive for the virus this week.

Yet despite so much of the team, therefore, being unable to play/participate, a game against the Las Vegas Raiders remains scheduled for Saturday, and quarterback Baker Mayfield isn’t pleased by this.

In a Twitter thread posted early Thursday evening, he lashed out at the NFL for refusing to at least delay the game and accused the league of jeopardizing player safety, all “to make money.”

He also expressed anger over the NFL’s testing. He claimed the league had initially claimed they wouldn’t “test vaccinated players if they don’t have symptoms.” And yet he and his peers were tested this week.


To be clear, it’s not true that “only 3 teams” have been tested, as he claimed in the first tweet. Over 100 players across the league have tested positive, according to reports. Yet, as noted earlier, the NFL is refusing to budge.

“Despite the Cleveland Browns’ recent COVID-19 outbreak, the NFL will not consider rescheduling the Browns’ upcoming home game against the Las Vegas Raiders,” CBS Sports reported Wednesday.

This was, however, expected.

CBS Reports noted that while the league had rescheduled several games last season, this time around they pledged from the get-go to abstain from doing so again.

“For this season, the league implemented several rules to help teams navigate the pandemic, including expanding the practice squad roster. The NFL made it clear before the start of the season that games would not be rescheduled due to COVID-19 outbreaks. Furthermore, the league stated that teams could be forced to forfeit games if there was a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players,” according to CBS Sports.

Cleveland station WEWS notes that the Browns’ outbreak has been among vaccinated players, so the forfeit clause doesn’t apply, which is a good thing. But if the NFL refuses to budge, this leaves the team with only one option.

“So if the game is not postponed, and it seems to be trending that way, the Browns may just find themselves having to put a starting lineup of practice squad players and free agent additions on the field on Saturday,” according to WEWS.

According to the latest reports, the team is down 17 players:

Mayfield’s angry tweets were posted shortly after the NFL released an updated set of its COVID rules or “protocols,” as they’re more commonly known. The new rules appear to actually cut vaccinated COVID-positive players like him a break.

Previously, vaccinated players who tested positive needed “to produce two negative tests separated by 24 hours and be free of symptoms to return earlier than a 10-day quarantine period,” according to Sports Illustrated.

The new rules allow that “players and staff who are asymptomatic for at least 24 hours can return as soon as the day after their initial positive test.” This means Mayfield and his teammates could still potentially make it to Saturday’s game.

The new rules also tighten the policies regarding masking, meals, etc.

Meanwhile, the NFL Players Association is reportedly pressuring the NFL to just start rescheduling games already.

“The NFL Players Association believes that ‘rescheduling games should be an option’ related to ‘any teams with major outbreaks,’ according to a person familiar with the NFLPA’s view,” The Washington Post confirmed late Thursday.

This would certainly make life much easier for everybody. Though as noted by Mayfield, it would likely cost the NFL money …


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Vivek Saxena


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