Browns place QB Baker Mayfield on COVID-19 list during bye

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield throws before an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Browns didn’t escape the bye week completely unscathed.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday after a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus.

The team, which is on a bye this week and scheduled to host Houston next weekend, released a statement saying it was notified a day earlier of the positive test.

Mayfield is believed to have had close contact with the unidentified infected person. As long as he doesn’t test positive, Mayfield could be allowed to return to practice as early as Wednesday.

First-year coach Kevin Stefanski gave his players off Thursday through Sunday. The Browns (5-3) reached their bye still in the playoff picture and one win shy of matching their total from 2019.

The Browns said that once they return to work on Monday, they will “follow the NFL-NFLPA intensive protocol. We will continue to work closely with the league and medical experts on the appropriate next steps with the health and safety of our players, coaches and staff members remaining our highest priority.”

Mayfield is in his third season with the Browns (5-3). The No. 1 overall pick in 2018 has thrown 15 touchdown passes and seven interceptions.

The Browns hadn’t had a positive coronavirus test since training camp opened in July. The team kept receiver Odell Beckham Jr. away from the facility for a few days when he experienced COVID-19-like symptoms.

There has been an uptick in positive tests around the league and the virus continues to be rampant across the country.

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