Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. sent home with unknown illness

BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was sent home Thursday with an illness.

Beckham tested negative for COVID-19, a source told ESPN Friday morning.

On Thursday Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said Beckham hadn't tested positive for COVID-19 but that the team was taking action by keeping him away from the practice facility out of "an abundance of caution." Beckham took a COVID-19 test Thursday before leaving.

"How the protocols are, you have to be careful," Stefanski said. "I don't want to assume anything. With all our guys, we'll make sure we follow the protocols and just be safe."

The Browns (4-1) are off to their best start since 1994 and on Sunday will be aiming to defeat the Steelers in Pittsburgh for the first time in 17 years.

Beckham has been a huge part of the Browns' hot start. He scored three touchdowns in Cleveland's victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 4 and has 294 receiving yards on 21 receptions this season.

"I don't know if I want to go there yet," answered Stefanski when asked how the Browns would be affected if Beckham can't play in Pittsburgh. "He's a big part of what we do."