Giants OC Jason Garrett tests positive for COVID-19, Freddie Kitchens to call plays vs. Browns

Jason Garrett Giants
Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced Thursday morning. 

He will be unable to patrol the sidelines for Sunday night’s game against the Cleveland Browns, meaning tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens will take over play-calling duties for the Week 15 primetime clash. 

Kitchens spent the two previous seasons with the Browns, first as the offensive coordinator in 2018 before getting promoted to head coach in 2019 following his work with quarterback Baker Mayfield. 

But with the Browns expected to make a run toward contention in the AFC North, Kitchens steered Cleveland to an underwhelming and disappointing 6-10 record. 

Now against his former team, Kitchens will likely be leading a shorthanded offense that could be without Daniel Jones, who suffered a sprained ankle during the second quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals. 

It’s the second leg injury suffered in three weeks as the second-year passer was forced to miss Week 13 with a hamstring issue. 

In his absence, Colt McCoy — a former Brown — managed the Giants to an upset victory over the Seattle Seahawks, completing 13-of-22 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. 

Should he be forced to start against Cleveland, the Kitchens and the Giants will be looking for a similar sort of performance that carries a heavy reliance on the run game with McCoy simply keeping the offense in check with conservative calls. 

Garrett will work remotely to help the Giants complete their gameplan for the Browns while prepping Kitchens in the process. 

The Browns have the 27th-ranked defense in the league in terms of points allowed and are coming off two consecutive outings of allowing 35 and 47 points respectively.

Later on Thursday afternoon, the Giants also placed their top cornerback, James Bradberry, on the COVID-19 list in another incident unrelated to Garrett’s positive test.