Bengals' Joe Mixon Placed on Reserve/COVID-19 List Ahead of Week 18 vs. Browns

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 5, 2022

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 26:  Joe Mixon #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals reacts after scoring a touchdown during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium on December 26, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor confirmed Joe Mixon was placed on the NFL's reserve/COVID-19 list ahead of the team's final regular-season game against the Cleveland Browns.

Cincinnati has already secured the AFC North title, so resting Mixon may have been an option on the table anyway. Taylor ruled out starting quarterback Joe Burrow for Week 18 to keep him healthy for the postseason.

The NFL and NFL Players Association agreed to halve the minimum isolation period from 10 days to five days when a player tests positive for COVID-19. The player can return after five days if he remains asymptomatic and satisfies other requirements.

Taylor said Mixon could theoretically be activated in time to play against the Browns but that the situation is complicated by the Bengals playing on the road.

Cleveland sits last in the division at 7-9 and will be without its starting quarterback as well with Baker Mayfield due to undergo shoulder surgery. Still, Kevin Stefanski's squad is a 5.5-point favorite over the Bengals at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Cincinnati figures to be significantly short-handed since Vonn Bell, Akeem Davis-Gaither, Trey Hendrickson, Trey Hopkins and Quinton Spain are also on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Without Burrow and Mixon, the offense will certainly lack its usual punch.

Mixon is enjoying a career year. He has run for 1,205 yards and 13 touchdowns and hauled in 42 passes for 314 yards and three scores. Those numbers were good enough to him his first Pro Bowl nod.

Samaje Perine figures to take over as the starting running back Sunday. Perine has run for 246 yards and one touchdown while averaging 4.5 yards per carry.

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