Odell Beckham Jr. Remains Absent from Browns Practice Due to COVID-19 Protocol

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2020

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) reacts after making a catch in the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Cleveland. The Browns won 32-23. (AP Photo/David Richard)
David Richard/Associated Press

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will reportedly remain away from the team's facilities Friday as part of COVID-19 protocols despite producing a negative test result.

According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, all Browns players and staff members tested negative for the coronavirus Thursday ahead of Sunday's Week 6 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Beckham was sent home from practice Thursday with an unspecified illness.

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said Thursday the organization has been on "high alert" amid an uptick in positive tests around the NFL and made the "proactive" decision to send home three-time Pro Bowler Beckham, whom Stefanski described as "feeling under the weather."

"Just with how the protocols are just you have to be careful," Stefanski told reporters. "I don't want to assume anything, but with all of our guys, we'll make sure we just follow the protocols and just be safe."

There has so far been no word on Beckham's availability for Sunday's clash with AFC North rival Steelers.

The 27-year-old LSU product is off to a solid start to the 2020 campaign. He's recorded 21 catches for 294 yards and three touchdowns through five games. He also scored a rushing touchdown in the team's Week 4 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

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He tallied 74 receptions for 1,035 yards and four scores in 2019, his first season with the Browns after five years with the New York Giants.

Rashard Higgins would likely see the biggest uptick in playing time opposite Jarvis Landry should OBJ miss Sunday's contest. It could also create some offensive snaps for rookie Donovan Peoples-Jones and Taywan Taylor.

It's an important game with the Steelers (4-0), Browns (4-1) and Baltimore Ravens (4-1) all bunched atop the AFC North during the early stages of the campaign.

Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. ET on Sunday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.