The Cleveland Browns are heading into Week 15 with almost everyone of consequence on the COVID list. If the game is played, watch out for these 3 Raiders.
The NFL has relaxed their COVID protocols. The aim is to get players who test positive for COVID but showing no symptoms back on the field faster. Should players return faster, there would be no need for a postponement.
At the time of this writing, the Browns have21 players on the COVID list. They would need a significant number of those players to return to field a competitive team. One of the biggest questions remaining is can they overcome COVID before the game.
If they get some players back, they will face a healthy Raiders team. Three of those Raiders pose a significant challenge on the field.
TE Darren Waller
Covering tight ends has not been a strength of the Browns. The linebacker group has struggled. The safeties who have done good job against tight ends are on the COVID list. With safeties Grant Delpit, John Johnson and Ronnie Harrison on the COVID list, covering any tight ends will be a challenge.
This weekend the Browns will face one of the most dynamic tight ends in football in Darren Waller. He is the Raiders’ nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. His work off the field parallels his play on the field.
This season he has been targeted between 8 to 10 times per game. He averages 64 yards per game. He’s 5th among tight ends in targets and receptions.
He is dynamic player whose size and speed creates mismatches for defenses. His route running ability necessitates a defender with good coverage skills to follow him. The Browns will struggle to cover Waller with Delpit, Johnson and Harrison on the COVID list.
The silver lining is the Waller has not practiced all week. He has missed the past two games due to knee and back issues. There is a chance he will miss the contest this weekend.
UPDATE: Waller has been ruled out for the game versus the Browns.