Browns’ Garrett on track to return from COVID this week

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CLEVELAND (AP)Browns star defensive end Myles Garrett is on track to be activated from the COVID-19 list on Wednesday after missing two games with the virus.

Garrett sat out Cleveland’s wins over Philadelphia and Jacksonville the past two weeks after testing positive on Nov. 20. He’s been isolated at home and following league protocols.

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski did not want to address whether Garrett, who was leading the NFL with 9 1/2 sacks when he tested positive, had suffered moderate or severe symptoms during his illness.

The Browns (8-3) will begin on-field preparation for this week’s game at Tennessee on Wednesday, and Stefanski said Garrett has hit all the mandatory markers to ensure his return.

”He’s trending that way, yes,” Stefanski said.

If Garrett returns and plays, he’ll give Cleveland’s injury-riddled defense a major lift in the matchup with the Titans – and as the Browns (8-3) try to lock down a playoff spot.

”We talked about when Myles went out, we don’t want to win without him,” Stefanski said. ”We’ll do it, but he’s a good player, so we want him out there. The guys get a big boost when they see No. 95 out there with them. That’s just based on how productive he’s been for us and all the game-changing plays he’s made for us throughout this season.”

Stefanski is cautiously confident Garrett will be his dominant self when he’s back.

”I know the kid and how hard he works, but he truth of the matter is that I haven’t put my eyes on him yet, so I’ll be able to answer that better throughout the week,” he said. ”But just knowing the pro Myles is and how hard he works, I do feel confident there.”

The Browns have been hit hard by the coronavirus, which has caused disruptions across the league.

Stefanski expects fullback Andy Janovich to return this week after being out with the virus. He’ll know later this week on the status of defensive ends Porter Gustin, Joe Jackson and linebacker Sione Takitaki, who are also on the COVID list.

Cornerback Denzel Ward, who is having a Pro Bowl-caliber season, is expected to miss his second straight game this week with a calf strain suffered against the Eagles.

Also, safety Ronnie Harrision continues to undergo tests on his shoulder after he injured it while making a tackle against the Jaguars early in Sunday’s game. It was another tough blow for Cleveland’s banged-up defense and for Harrison, who used to play for Jacksonville.

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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