Wyatt Teller was in, then he was out, and then he was in again for Monday's matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders.
Teller spent a few days on the reserve/COVID-19 list and was one of a couple of players to benefit from the game being delayed by two days. That was just enough time for Teller to be cleared, and he was able to get back on the field and wreak the same kind of pancake-blocking havoc he's caused all throughout the 2021 season.
ClevelandBrowns.com caught up with Teller as he wrapped up his preparations for Saturday's showdown with the Packers.
CB.com: Obviously it was a tough result last week, but you guys have had no choice but to bounce back in a hurry. What have you seen from your teammates this week as you prepare for the Packers?
Teller: It was tough. We fought, and that's a good thing, but at the end of the day we came up short. But that's last week. We've got to move on. We still have an opportunity, we still have a chance and we have to take advantage of that and make the most out of it. I think we had guys who played better than we thought, guys who stepped up and had to do what they're asked to do. We had to go out there and play and we fell short, but it will be all right.
CB.com: What was it like going through the uncertainty last week while your status for the game was up in the air?
Teller: I love football to death and I love playing, but that was tough. I might have had (COVID) a couple of days before I tested, so I didn't know where I was at (in the protocols). I didn't know where my levels were, my numbers, things like that until we got into (daily) testing and were able to see where I was at. I started trending to being healthy quickly, so I kind of knew maybe 24 hours, maybe 36 hours before the game. That was not as fun as some people like to say it is. I love the work and I have to put in time, put in work to my footwork and the timing of all the stuff. You're not able to do that. Plus, I don't know many guys who beat COVID in five days ... but it is definitely difficult to be out of it mentally. We'd all love to say we stay mentally locked in, but when someone says. "Hey, by the way, you tested positive for COVID. That's a 10-day waiting period unless you test two negatives," you hope for two negatives but you don't really think you're going to get two negatives. I'm studying, I'm working but I was trying to coach Michael Dunn up on the back end and then I found out I was going to play. It was a curveball. I'm happy I came out healthy. The other guys who tested positive (Jedrick Wills Jr. and James Hudson III) weren't so lucky. It sucks.
CB.com: The team had to shuffle up the offensive line last week, and it looks like it'll have to do the same this week. How have you handled knowing the lineup can change all the way up to game time?
Teller: Coach (Bill) Callahan's experience has shown the line you start with isn't always the line you end up with. Last year, we were lucky. Obviously we had different combinations throughout the year but that last (regular season) game we had all of the starters back and it was pretty cool. We've gone through a lot of combinations of offensive linemen, a lot of tackles, a lot of guards. It's definitely been weird and crazy. I'm thankful I have my health and I'm still playing. It sucks when you have guys who are testing out. Luckily I got to come back and keep on starting and keep on playing. We have to roll with the punches. Coach made the joke we have the Turkey Bowl line. Just a bunch of guys who haven't played together but we're good together. You had Joel (Bitonio) at left tackle, I can only really play right guard, Blake (Hance) who's played on and off at tackle and Mike who can play left guard. We have centers. It's a good thing to have guys who can do it all. After the game, we made a joke that we had four starting guards out there and we played all right. We always can get better and there's a lot of plays I take responsibility on and can get better.
CB.com: What's the mindset of attacking the next three games with a slim margin for error?
Teller: We have to finish strong. There's no other option. We're still in it. We still have an opportunity. We still have a chance and we have to make the most of it. I really wish we would have never lost if we're going to get honest with it. That's how it works. We had five or six games come down to one score. Two or three plays go a different way and we're sitting with the record Green Bay has. It shows how the NFL is, how the margin is so small to begin with and then once you start getting toward the New Year, it gets even smaller.
CB.com: What was your reaction when the schedule came out and this game was set for Christmas?
Teller: When I first heard about this game, I said, "It's in December. I'm not thinking about it." It's kind of crazy how fast the season has gone. You hear all the vets say the season flies by. The days are long, the years are short. It really did. It felt like it blinked by. I know I'll be saying the same thing when I retire. What just happened? How many years did I play? That's the understanding of how it is. We're still in it, there's still an opportunity. We've got to keep going and hopefully come out on top and string some games together.
CB.com: You got some good news this week when you were named to your first Pro Bowl. What did that mean to you?
Teller: It's an honor. I'm not going to sugarcoat it. I'm not going to play some high moral game and say I don't care about it. Of course you care about it. It's an amazing honor and feat. Every kid when you're writing down I want to be a pro football player, your mindset is being one of the big names, being one of the guys who wins in the playoffs, gets championships but also is the best at the position. You might not say you want to be a Pro Bowler, but once you start growing up that's the goal. Last year was kind of weird where I was All-Pro but not Pro Bowl, and it's a little harder to be All-Pro. It was definitely a blessing but I truly mean it that it's a long path and this is another step. It's a nice step, and it's an amazing step and an amazing feat, but there's still so much more to climb. This is Year 4, and I've done a lot of good things, but I've also done a lot of inconsistent, not great things. My mindset is to continue to get better until I hit that 100 percent, 10 times out of 10. That's the game. Continue to get better and play at a high level as long as you can. You see Joel doing that. I think he got his first Pro Bowl four years ago and now he's continued to play well. He's a great guy to watch and a great guy to learn from.