The Browns had 18 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, including 8 starters.
When quarterback Baker Mayfield tested positive for COVID, the team was ready with veteran backup Case Keenum, who then also returned a positive test.
Quarterback Nick Mullens got his first start with the Browns.
“I didn’t know very much about him, but he certainly ain’t the reason we lost the game,” shared former Cleveland Browns running back Greg Pruitt.
Mullens was 20 for 30 for 147 yards and one touchdown.
“He put us in a position to win,” Pruitt told FOX 8 News in the Morning.
But the offense really lit up in the second half when the ball got into running back Nick Chubb’s hands.
“His yards after contact is incredible,” Pruitt praised.
“We just don’t make the effort that we should with a back like Chubb,” he said when asked about other play calls that didn’t rely on one of the best running backs in the country.
Next up, the Packers at Green Bay on Christmas Day.
“It’s a game we have to win,” Pruitt said.
Pruitt has said that the Browns needed to win 3 of the last 4 to make the playoffs.
By that math, Cleveland would have to win out.
But the AFC North is a close division.
The top of the leaderboard is the Bengals, who have one win over the Browns.
One game could change everything. But the Browns have to make their own fate.
“It would be the upset of the year,” said Pruitt.
“Going through Green Bay is going to be very tough.”
The Packers clinched the NFC North over the weekend with a win over the Ravens.
The Browns have the opportunity to return to full health and their starting lineup before hitting the gridiron at Lambeau Field.
Pruitt reminds fans there’s always a chance.
“He’s one of the best, but not the best,” Pruitt said of Rogers.
The Browns (7-7) at Packers (11-3) is at 4:30 p.m. Saturday on FOX 8.