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The Cleveland Browns have hit a roadblock on their first day of OTAs.
According to Lindsay Jones of The Athletic, “several” players were sent home following a positive COVID-19 test from a player “before on-field work began.”
Per Jones, players who are not fully vaccinated must quarantine following exposure to someone with the virus, and the group of players sent home on Tuesday included players who were between vaccine doses.
The Browns were among the teams that released a statement through the NFL Players Association in April, pushing for a virtual offseason. But on Monday, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reported that Browns players were working out a deal with the coaching staff to adjust the length or daily workload of the program.
“The Browns’ players were working toward a deal with their coaches over the weekend after staying away—and part of the reason they were OK with being absent until now is that quarterback Baker Mayfield had held a passing camp in Austin already,” Breer wrote.
Cleveland had a notable case of COVID-19 within the program last season. Defensive end Myles Garrett missed two games in November following his positive test, but he was still feeling the effects after returning to the field.
He told reporters in December that he still struggled to breathe:
“I’m just getting over a coughing fit in the locker room earlier. I’m trying to get some water into my system and be able to breathe. Taking those deep, big breaths are tough right now with the shortness of breath and that turning into a cough or getting choked up. You’ve just got to find a way. It’s about desire. No matter how I feel, I’ve got to do something on the field and when I get off of it, maybe go see someone and try to work with someone.”
Garrett provided an encouraging update earlier this month, telling a fan on Instagram that he has fully recovered.
Cleveland’s OTAs are scheduled to run Wednesday and Thursday this week before resuming June 1.