EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The hits just keep on coming for the Browns.
Just one day after ruling multiple players out for Sunday's game against the New York Jets due to possible COVID-19 exposure, the team has confirmed left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. will also miss the matchup due to an unspecified illness. The rookie had tested negative for the coronavirus earlier in the week and was activated on Saturday, only to be sidelined today after reportedly taking a separate flight from Cleveland to New Jersey.
The Browns have been reeling with absences in the last 24 hours, beginning when linebacker B.J. Goodson apparently tested positive for COVID-19. Not long after Goodson's status was made public, receivers Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and KhaDarel Hodge along with linebacker Jacob Phillips were identified as "close contacts" and will also not play this afternoon.
In regards to Wills, the 21-year-old has emerged as perhaps the best of a deep crop of rookie offensive linemen this season, and Cleveland will certainly feel his loss on Sunday. The club is already dealing with injuries on the unit, with right guard Wyatt Teller still out with a bad ankle and top backup Chris Hubbard down for the year after undergoing knee surgery. Rookie Nick Harris will fill in for Teller, while veteran Kendall Lamm is expected to make his first start of the year in place of Wills.
Despite the attrition, the 10-4 Browns are still considered a comfortable favorite against the 1-13 Jets, and can potentially clinch their first playoff spot in 18 years today. In order to do so, they must beat New York and hope for either the Baltimore Ravens or the Indianapolis Colts to lose their respective games.
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