The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for their first playoff game in three years this Sunday night at Heinz Field against the Cleveland Browns. While the Steelers are entering the game almost as healthy as possible with no players with an injury status for the game, the Cleveland Browns are still dealing with a multitude of players on the Reserve/COVID-19 List as well as not being able to practice until Friday. Gaining some positive news in Cleveland, three players have been activated from the list and will be available for the game Sunday night. This per ESPN’s Jake Trotter:
The #Browns have activated TE Harrison Bryant, S Ronnie Harrison Jr. and LB Malcolm Smith off the reserve/COVID-19 list, clearing the way for them to play Sunday night in Pittsburgh.— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) January 9, 2021
Both Harrison Bryant and Malcolm Smith were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List prior to the Browns Week 17 matchup against the Steelers. As for Harrison, he went on the list this past Thursday but has been removed in what the NFL has deemed to be a false positive test.
Bryant was the fourth-round draft pick of the Browns in 2020 out of Florida Atlantic. As a rookie, Bryant has started nine games on the season where he has 24 receptions for 238 yards and three touchdowns. The only game he has missed in 2020 was Week 17 against the Steelers being on the Covid list.
Linebacker Malcolm Smith is playing his ninth NFL season but his first for the Browns. Starting four games, Brown has an interception, a forced fumble, and a sack to go along with 72 tackles on the season.
Safety Ronnie Harrison was acquired by the Browns in a trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars at the beginning of the 2020 season. Appearing in 11 games while starting in seven, the strong safety has an interception which was returned for a touchdown along with seven passes defensed and a sack on the season.
The Browns still have four players on the Reserve/COVID-19 List. Pro bowl guard Joel Bitonio, wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge, and cornerback Kevin Johnson are not eligible to come off the list prior to Sunday’s game. Cornerback Denzel Ward would be eligible to come off the list strictly from the 10-day period, but is not expected to be activated at this time per ESPN Jake Trotter:
And is expected to remain on the list, meaning Ward will not play Sunday. #Browns https://t.co/WZRHYAggEB— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) January 9, 2021
Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for continued coverage as the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare to take on the Cleveland Browns Sunday night at Heinz Field in the Wild Card round of the 2020 NFL postseason.