Just like last year, the Cleveland Browns are losing vital players to COVID-19.
Running backs Nick Chubb and Demetric Felton tested positive for COVID-19, the NFL Network and ESPN reported Tuesday. Both are reportedly vaccinated, so it's possible that they could play Sunday against the New England Patriots. To be eligible, they each have to return two negative COVID tests 24 hours apart.
If he's out, Chubb will be a big loss for the Browns on Sunday. He had his best game of the year against the Bengals last week, rushing for 137 yards on 14 carries and scoring two touchdowns, including this beauty.
Chubb and Felton are joining fellow running back John Kelly on the COVID-19 list, and with Kareem Hunt out of commission with a calf injury, the Browns are left with a grand total of one active running back: D'Ernest Johnson. That is not ideal for a run-first offense like Cleveland's.
Missing numerous players due to COVID protocols isn't new for the Browns. In January, as the Browns geared up to play their first playoff game in 18 years, they got hit hard by COVID. Three coaches, including head coach Kevin Stefanski, and four players had to sit out.
Playing while Chubb and Felton are out isn't new for Johnson, either. He had to do it in Week 7, and he racked up 146 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown. If Felton and Chubb are still out Sunday, Cleveland will be leaning hard on Johnson to do it again.