Friday update: The NFL is moving the Browns, Raiders game from Saturday to Monday, per Josina Anderson. Raiders-Browns will happen at 5 p.m. ET and Vikings-Bears will happen at 8:20 p.m.
Friday update: It appears that rescheduling the game is on the table.
I am being told there have been NFL/NFLPA discussions today about rescheduling Saturday’s Raiders-Browns game, likely to Monday or Tuesday. A decision could be announced within the next hour, before Raiders are scheduled to travel to Cleveland.— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) December 17, 2021
The Cleveland Browns are scheduled to host the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday of Week 15, but COVID-19 is creating serious issues in Cleveland. The Browns have placed 20 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list this week, including both quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Case Keenum.
The team has a high vaccination rate, but that does not guarantee vaccinated players will be able to test negative twice across 24 or more hours to get back in time for Saturday’s game. The team has promoted Nick Mullens from the practice squad and at this rate he could be starting against the Raiders.
The NFL issued new protocols this year revolving around outbreaks. If an outbreak is due to unvaccinated players, a team will be punished with a forfeit. However, if an outbreak comes among vaccinated players, the league has said it will do everything it can to get the game in and maintain competitive integrity.
The Browns could still field a team this weekend, but it’s bordering on the absurd at the moment. There is no sign the outbreak is slowing, but there is also no indication the league will delay this game. Cleveland could be left with most of their starting lineup sidelined due to COVID-19, but they’ll likely still be forced to play the game.