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Notes: Browns optimistic Nick Chubb will come off COVID-19 list Friday and play Sunday vs. Lions

BEREA — The Browns hope starting running back Nick Chubb will come off the COVID-19 reserve list Friday, practice and play Sunday.

Chubb and rookie running back/receiver Demetric Felton tested positive Nov. 9 and are eligible to be activated after 10 days as long as they’re asymptomatic.

Backup running back John Kelly Jr. tested positive Nov. 8 and was taken off the COVID-19 list Thursday morning and practiced Thursday afternoon.

“That will help. I think things are trending in the right direction for the other guys,” coordinator Alex Van Pelt said. “Maybe we will get to see them later in the week as the protocols run out for those guys. We are hoping.”

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Chubb ranks third in the NFL with 721 rushing yards and is tied for the lead with 6.0 yards per carry. Van Pelt was optimistic he’ll be in condition to play Sunday if cleared.

“Guys come off the COVID list and play all the time across the league,” he said. “So if he’s available, I’m sure we’ll be very smart with how we handle his carries, but he’s obviously a big part of what we do offensively.”

Kareem Hunt ruled out for Sunday vs. Lions, will miss 5th game with calf injury

INJURY REPORT

Defensive end Myles Garrett (personal), receiver Jarvis Landry (knee) and defensive tackle Malik Jackson (knee) returned to practice after missing Wednesday.

Receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones (groin) didn’t practice and worked on the side. He was injured Wednesday running a route.

“He was in walkthrough today, so if he is in walkthrough, then we expect to have him on Sunday,” Van Pelt said.

Nickelback Troy Hill (neck), cornerback A.J. Green (concussion) and receiver Anthony Schwartz (concussion) didn’t practice for the second straight day. Center JC Tretter (knee) didn’t practice, as is his routine.

Baker Mayfield returns to practice, expected to play Sunday vs. Lions

ANSWERED PRAYER

Quarterback Baker Mayfield celebrated Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s decision to commute Julius Jones’ death sentence to life imprisonment.

“God is GREAT!!!” Mayfield tweeted. “Thank you to everybody that prayed and continued to pray! @JuliusOklahoma”

Jones was scheduled to be executed Thursday afternoon, and Stitt’s announcement came only hours before. Mayfield has been a strong advocate for Jones and was emotional Wednesday when asked about the situation.

PRIME EXAMPLE

Running back D’Ernest Johnson not only started the Patriots game with a bang — 58 yards on four carries on the first drive — he ended with one.

“He catches the ball out of the backfield and runs down the field — whatever it was, 15 yards — and he had two defenders coming in on him,” Van Pelt said of an 18-yard gain on Cleveland’s final possession. “Nine out of 10 backs in this league would have stepped out of bounds, and he put his shoulder down. This guy loves football, and I love that he is in our room.”

Joe Woods says he’s not bothered by Myles Garrett’s criticism, they have great relationship and everyone’s frustrated by performance vs. Patriots

NO TIME TO RELAX

Tight end David Njoku had a touchdown in his hands but failed to secure the ball before New England’s Adrian Phillips knocked it away.

“It was a very lazy play on my behalf,” Njoku said. “I have no excuse for that. So now I’m playing like I have my hair on fire.”

He later dropped a second pass.

EXTRA POINTS

Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer is a proud graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and applauded the NFL’s “Salute to Service” throughout November.

“It is a really special moment,” he said. “I do want to point out that two weeks ago we had a helicopter flyover in Cincinnati, and they timed it perfectly. Last week, the jet flyover was like 30 seconds late, so the helicopters got it right.”

He flew helicopters in the Navy from 1989-94.

** Njoku said the departure of friend Odell Beckham Jr. doesn’t affect his desire to sign an extension with the Browns.

** Priefer was upset that JoJo Natson backed up too far and didn’t catch a punt against the Patriots that bounced and cost the Browns about 20 yards of field position.

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.

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