Ought to Browns be upset in regards to the coronavirus guidelines?

The Cleveland Browns had everything set up on Sunday. All they had to do to get their first playoff spot since the 2002 season was beat the lowly New York Jets with a win.

Given the Browns’ strong running game, this seemed unlikely.

But as it must have felt like real Browns fashion to her tortured fans, a strange confluence of events came together to guide destiny. It started with terribly timed COVID-19 issues over the weekend that resulted in four of Cleveland’s top recipients and two starting linebackers being put on the COVID list because they either tested positive or were classified as high risk contacts were.

This left the Browns, who called off a pair of receivers from their training team, able to play two young men – Ja’Marcus Bradley and Derrick Willies – who hadn’t received an NFL pass on a short-term basis.

It was so bad that the morning before the game the Browns held a walkthrough in a parking garage next to the team’s hotel – in freezing temperatures, no less – to get ready.

Of course, it didn’t work as the Browns passing game faced a brutal 23:16 loss that essentially forces Cleveland, a 5-10 team, to win the week 17 game against Pittsburgh to win to reach the playoffs.

Baker Mayfield and the Browns can secure a spot on the wild card with a win against the Steelers on Sunday. Pittsburgh, champions of AFC North, are still playing for number 2 in the playoffs. (Photo by Sarah Stier / Getty Images)

Given that other games have been postponed this season, it would be understandable if some Browns fans, given the competitive imbalance issues, thought it was unfair for their team to play on Sunday.

Surprisingly, Brown’s center JC Tretter, the NFLPA president, says he didn’t ask any of his teammates why they were being forced to play anyway.

“I think we’ve seen a lot of examples this year [of this]”Tretter told reporters on a conference call Tuesday.” Starting with San Francisco earlier this year, the Broncos scenario not so long ago, and then this week, both Detroit and Cleveland – examples where multiple players / employees are out and about have to miss a game because they have close contacts. “

The Browns know the main question that matters to the league when it comes to the shift: is the breakout contained in the building? If not, you don’t play. If so, do so even if you miss several key players on Sunday.

The story goes on

Not that it’s not hard to take for a team, especially a team like Cleveland that could have used those receivers to end its nearly two-decade streak of missing the playoffs.

“It’s tough, it’s disappointing, it’s difficult to miss players or coaches on match day, but this is the year we’re in so I think the players understand,” said Tretter. “It’s definitely frustrating – guys want to be out there and that was one of the toughest things this year. Boys are competitive, boys play through injury, through illness, and this is a year where that is not possible.

“You can’t play through COVID.”

Still, the possibility of a bubble remains likely.

“As long as ours [incident] Prices remain low, our medical staff on both sides – the NFLPA and the NFL – have recommended that we not move into a bubble, and I certainly agree, “said DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFLPA.

The question was never whether they would start the season, but rather whether they would end. And now that they’re a month away from it, Smith has a hard time not guessing how close they are to the goal.

“I’m really proud of everyone involved,” said Smith.

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