Two steps forward, one step back as Browns cancel practice because of new Covid results

Receivers return, but Denzel Ward and Malcolm Smith added to list

Two steps forward, one step back as Browns cancel practice because of new Covid results
Denzel Ward

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Wide receivers Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, KhaDarel Hodge and Donovan Peoples-Jones were cleared from the Reserve/Covid-19 list on Thursday, along with linebacker Jacob Phillips, just as linebacker Malcolm Smith and cornerback Denzel Ward were added to the list.

The four receivers, who missed Sunday’s loss to the New York Jets, were eligible to practice on Thursday, although that practice, like Wednesday’s, was intially pushed back, before being cancelled altogether.

“I’m just dealing with it day to day, hour by hour, in terms of what we have going on here,” head coach Kevin Stefanski said during a zoom meeting on Thursday. “We’re in constant communication with the league, with our medical staff, in finding out what we can do.”

What they are forced to do ... again ... is adjust, three days before their biggest game in years. Beat the Steelers and they’re in the playoffs. Lose, and they’ll need some help to get in.

And they’ll have to do it without two key linebackers, Smith and B.J. Goodson, who tested positive for Covid last week.

The good news is, the Steelers, who clinched the AFC North last Sunday, are resting key players, including QB Ben Roethlisberger, C Maurkice Pouncey, OLB T.J. Watt and DE Cam Heyward.

And it certainly won’t hurt to get Landry back. His consecutive-games streak was snapped at 110 last week.

“I’m sure that killed him,” offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said.

“Jarvis is a guy, as you all know, who’s an emotional leader for our team,” Stefanski said. “So I’m very excited to get him back.”

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