The Cleveland Browns got some good news all around ahead of Sunday night’s Wild Card matchup with the Steelers.
In addition to all gameday COVID-19 tests coming back negative, right tackle Jack Conklin is expected to take the field tonight. The All-Pro Browns lineman was previously listed as questionable after missing Friday’s practice with an illness.
NFL Network reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala broke the news on Twitter Sunday afternoon.
All of the #Browns gameday COVID tests were negative. I’ve also been told that all signs are looking good for RT Jack Conklin to play tonight vs the #Steelers. (The All-Pro was questionable w/ an illness.)
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) January 10, 2021
With the organization unsure what illness Conklin was fighting, Cleveland made sure to take extra COVID-19 precautions. The star RT made a solo trip on Saturday to avoid a potential outbreak among his teammates. While most of the team flew up to Pittsburgh, several players and all assistant coaches reportedly made the drive separately.
These precautions were the result of a blooming COVID-19 situation earlier this week. Head coach Kevin Stefanski, guard Joel Bitonio and WR KhaDarel Hodge were among the notable Cleveland players who tested positive and will be unable to make the trip this weekend.
Just yesterday, the Browns activated three starters off the COVID-19 list. Alongside Conklin, tight end Harrison Bryant, safety Ronnie Harris Jr. and linebacker Malcolm Smith have all been cleared to play tonight.
Tonight’s matchup will be a rematch between the bitter rivals. In Week 17, the Browns squeaked out a 24-22 win and claimed their spot in the playoffs for the first time in 18 years.
The Steelers will look for revenge tonight at 8:15 p.m. E.T.