It’s a red-alert situation for the Cleveland Browns for their game on Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Browns have 20 players currently testing positive for COVID-19 who may be unable to play in that game. That includes starting quarterback Baker Mayfield, who could possibly still play if he provides two negative tests before Saturday, a situation that Mayfield is not pleased with. The assumption would have been that Case Keenum would start in Mayfield’s absence but he has also tested positive.
That presumably means that the team will start Nick Mullens, who was signed from the practice squad for the second time this season.
However, the team has also decided to bolster its quarterback depth chart in the interim in case Mullens can’t get it done or tests positive himself.
TheAthletic’s Zac Jackson is reporting that the Browns will sign Kyle Lauletta from the Jaguars’ practice squad and are also trying to sign free agent Jake Dolegala.
Source: The Browns will sign Kyle Lauletta off the Jaguars' practice squad. Lauletta will be the No. 2 QB upon arrival given the circumstances; he was the Browns' No. 3 in the preseason but was waived at final cuts. https://t.co/X5Q0XSeJKh
— Zac Jackson (@AkronJackson) December 17, 2021
According to Jackson, the plan will be to make Lauletta the backup given that he was with the Browns briefly in the preseason before he was waived. Dolegala would be the No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart.
Lauletta, a 26-year-old out of Richmond, has bounced between five NFL teams since being drafted by the New York Giants in 2018. He’s mostly spent time on practice squads, but he did appear in two games for the Giants during his rookie season.
Jake Dolegala, who entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Central Connecticut State in 2019, has bounced around rosters and practice squads for the Bengals, Packers, Patriots, and Dolphins.
It does remain possible that we’ll see that Mayfield or Keenum but the odds remain that Mullens will get the start. It would pretty wild if either of his backups, both of which have only been with the team for 24 hours, have to try to help the Browns fight for a playoff spot.