Welp. The Browns' first and second string quarterbacks, Baker Mayfield and Case Keenum, failed to test out of the NFL's Covid-19 protocols Monday morning. So it'll be Nick Mullens under center when the Browns take on the Raiders Monday afternoon, in a matchup that was postponed from Saturday due to Covid hardship.
Mullens is a practice-squad player who played college ball at the University of Southern Mississippi, (and over four seasons, threw for more total yards and completions than Brett Favre, USM's most famous NFL alum.)
Before signing with the Browns in September, Mullens played three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, compiling a 5-11 record as a starter when he was summoned to fill in for Jimmy Garoppolo and C.J. Beathard in 2018 and 2020.
The 6'1", 210-lb Mullens will suit up in number 9 for the Browns, previously worn by a trio of distinguished 21st-century quarterbacks: Charlie Frye, Thaddeus Lewis, and Connor Shaw.
As Covid has ravaged the Browns roster on both offense and defense, Mullens will have to do without some key receiving targets Monday, including Jarvis Landry and Austin Hooper. He'll also be missing the protection of second-year tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. But Mullens will still have Nick Chubb, D'Ernest Johnson, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Rashard Higgins, David Njoku, Harrison Bryant and others helping him move the chains.
Kickoff is at 5:00 p.m. at FirstEnergy Stadium. With both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati winning their games yesterday, a win for the Browns will be critical, if they hope to remain in contention for the AFC North divisional crown.
Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.