Cincinnati Bengals star running back Joe Mixon has tested positive for COVID-19 and won't play against the Browns, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
This news comes a day after the Bengals placed five other players on the reserve/COVID-19 list following the win over the Chiefs on Sunday. Cincinnati has yet to place Mixon on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Safety Vonn Bell, defensive end Trey Hendrickson, center Trey Hopkins and guard Quinton Spain are all starters for the Bengals.
It's unclear at this moment what head coach Zac Taylor was planning to do with his starters in the Week 18 game against the Browns. The only reason he could be inclined to do so is dependent on what happens with the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans on Saturday. If both those teams and the Patriots all lose, if Cincinnati beats Cleveland, they can clinch the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC and earn a first-round bye. If either Kansas City or Tennessee wins, they can't.
Under the new NFL protocols, an asymptomatic player who tests positive can return after five days following their initial positive test.