The Cleveland Browns placed defensive end Porter Gustin on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday.
Gustin is the sixth Cleveland player — and third defensive end — to land on the list since November 13. He joins fullback Andy Janovich, linebacker Sione Takitaki and defensive ends Myles Garrett and Joe Jackson as players who will miss Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
We have placed DE Porter Gustin on the reserve/COVID-19 list. pic.twitter.com/nVeCjrA0z3— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 26, 2020
Offensive lineman Chris Hubbard was also on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, but the Browns activated Hubbard on Thursday.
For the second consecutive day the Browns were forced to close team headquarters in the morning while they conducted contact tracing. Once they determined everything was OK, the offense took to the practice field in the afternoon, but the defense did all of its practice work virtually, according to Nate Ulrich of The Beacon Journal.
Gustin started last Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles in place of Garrett, who missed his first game after being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Gustin was on the field for 46 plays, finishing with one tackle and a quarterback hit.
With Garrett, Gustin and Jackson all sidelined, the Browns are down to Olivier Vernon, Adrian Clayborn and Cameron Malveaux as their only healthy defensive ends. The only other defensive lineman on the practice squad is defensive tackle Joey Ivie, who could be promoted for the game against the Jaguars, which would free up defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson to take some snaps at defensive end if needed.
The Browns may also stand pat and if they need to have Richardson play some at defensive end, that could mean more time for rookie defensive tackle Jordan Elliott, who made an impact against the Eagles despite playing just 17 snaps on defense.