Browns G Joel Bitonio & WR KhaDarel Hodge Test Positive For COVID-19

     

According to Tom Pelissero, the two Browns players who have tested positive for COVID-19 are starting G Joel Bitonio and WR KhaDarel Hodge.

KhaDarel Hodge

Cleveland has closed its facility following the positive test results by these two and three members of the coaching staff, including HC Kevin Stefanski.

The NFL mandates a 10-day quarantine for any positive cases, so Bitonio and Hodge are out for this weekend’s playoff game against the Steelers. 

The Browns have been dealing with a slew of issues with the virus for the past two weeks. The NFL believed most of the team’s issues were related to community spread and that no transmission was occurring within the facility.

It remains to be seen if that has changed with this latest update. 

Bitonio, 29, is a former third-round pick of the Browns back in 2014. He signed a six-year, $51.2 million deal in 2017 that included $17.1 million guaranteed. 

Bitonio is set to make base salaries of $8 million and $8.5 million over the next two years of the agreement. 

In 2020, Bitonio has started all 16 games for the Browns at guard. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 6 guard out of 84 qualifying players. 

Hodge, 26, wound up going undrafted out of Prairie View A&M back in 2018. He later signed on with the Rams and returned to Los Angeles on an exclusive rights contract for the 2019 season.

Hodge was waived coming out of the preseason and later claimed by the Browns. He’s in line to be a restricted free agent in 2021.

In 2020, Hodge appeared in nine games for the Browns and caught 11 passes for 180 yards receiving and no touchdowns.

We’ll have more on the Browns’ COVID-19 issues as the news is available. 

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