Cleveland Browns' Greg Newsome on reserve/COVID-19 list; Austin Hooper, Kevin Stefanski clear protocols

BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns have lost yet another key player, as cornerback Greg Newsome was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday.

Newsome, who has missed the past two games with a concussion, was hoping to return in time to play in Saturday's game against the Green Bay Packers.

The Browns, however, activated starting tight end Austin Hooper and linebacker Jacob Phillips off the reserve/COVID-19 list. Head coach Kevin Stefanski, who missed Monday's game against the Las Vegas Raiders after testing positive for COVID-19, also has cleared testing protocols and has returned to coaching in Cleveland's practice facility.

The Browns were without 22 players, including quarterback Baker Mayfield and nine other starters, during Monday's loss to the Raiders after they had been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Mayfield remains on the list, though he's still expected to play against the Packers on Saturday.

Newsome, a first-round draft pick out of Northwestern earlier this year, has been a starter all season for the Browns. He has 26 tackles and seven pass deflections.

The Browns made another notable move Wednesday, waiving punter Jamie Gillan.

Cleveland placed Gillan on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Dec. 9 and replaced him by signing veteran Dustin Colquitt. In two games, Colquitt punted well, placing four of his 12 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line, resulting in the Browns' decision to move forward with him over Gillan.

Gillan, who is from Scotland, was an undrafted free-agent rookie out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff in 2019, when the Browns made him their starting punter out of training camp. That season he was selected to the Pro Football Writers Association's all-rookie team.