The Las Vegas Raiders are not the only opponent the Cleveland Browns are facing. The team is also dealing with the ongoing pandemic, as a total of 19 Browns players were on the team's reserve/COVID-19 list as of Monday morning after new players were added many days last week. That forced the league to move Saturday's scheduled game to Monday at 5 p.m. ET.
Along with coach Kevin Stefanski, Browns players who are currently on the COVID-19 list include Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry, Jedrick Wills, Austin Hooper, Kareem Hunt, Case Keenum and Jadeveon Clowney. Cleveland (7-6) is currently in a tight race in the AFC North division with Baltimore (8-6), Cincinnati (8-6) and Pittsburgh (7-6-1). The Browns are currently the eighth seed in the AFC playoffs a season after winning the franchise's first playoff game since 1994. And while it has lost five out of its last six games, Las Vegas (6-7) is still technically alive in the AFC playoff race.
We'll preview the game along with giving our prediction for Monday's outcome. Here's how you can follow the action in real time.
How to watch
Date: Monday, Dec. 20 | Time: 5 p.m. ET
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland)
TV: NFL Network | Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Follow: CBS Sports App
Odds: Raiders -3, O/U 41
When the Raiders have the ball
After scoring 36 points in its Thanksgiving Day win over the Cowboys, the Raiders offense has scored just 24 combined points in its last two games. A lack of rushing and third-down success were issues in both games, while four turnovers largely contributed to last Sunday's blowout loss in Kansas City. Las Vegas will have to do a better job on third down Saturday against a Browns defense that is currently just 21st in the NFL in third-down efficiency. The Raiders offensive line will also have to do a better job protecting Derek Carr, who was brought down four times in last Sunday's 48-9 loss. That won't be easy against a Browns pass rush that includes Takk McKinley and Myles Garrett.
It will be imperative for the Raiders to find another productive receiver outside of Hunter Renfrow, who has caught 30 passes for 353 yards over the past three games. A big boost for the Raiders would be the return of Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller, who has missed the Raiders' last two games with a knee injury. If Waller can't suit up, the Raiders will have to lean more on running backs Josh Jacobs, Jalen Richard and Peyton Barber to move the ball against Cleveland's defense.
When the Browns have the ball
The Browns' success on offense will largely depend on who is available for the game. Cleveland's top three offensive tackles -- Jedrick Wills, Jack Conklin and rookie James Hudson III -- are either out for the season due to injury or on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Nick Mullens, formerly of the 49ers, is in line to start at quarterback with Mayfield and Keenum both on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Mullens will likely look early and often to Donovan Peoples-Jones, who caught five passes for 90 yards in last Sunday's win over Baltimore. With Hooper out, that could lead to a big role for tight ends David Njoku and Harrison Bryant, who has caught at least one pass in eight games this season.
Cleveland will likely lean on its running game Saturday, led by Pro Bowler Nick Chubb. The absence of Hunt will lead to more carries for D'Ernest Johnson, who was the star of Cleveland's Week 7 win over Denver with 146 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Cleveland should have success on the ground against the Raiders' 26th-ranked run defense. The Browns will have to be leery of defensive ends Yannick Ngakoue (nine sacks) and Maxx Crosby (five sacks).
Despite their current situation, the Browns are still more than capable of winning this game. The Browns still have two of their best players in Chubb and Garrett, the latter of whom can strengthen his Defensive Player of the Year case with a big game Monday. If the Browns can get enough production from their offense while minimizing Carr, Jacobs and Renfrow, Cleveland should be able to win while staying alive in the AFC playoff race.
Score: Browns 23, Raiders 17