The Covid-19 situation in Cleveland continues to get worse. This time it’s head coach Kevin Stefanksi who contracted the virus. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported this morning that Stefanski, a defensive backs coach, and a tight ends coach have received positive tests. The latter two coaches are yet to be named. Browns special teams coach Mike Priefer will assume the role as interim head coach for the Browns playoff game against the Steelers.
Browns COVID outbreak continues: HC Kevin Stefanski, two other coaches and two players have COVID issues, sources tell ESPN. Browns are closing their facility.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 5, 2021
On top of members of the coaching staff coming down with the illness, two more players have also contracted Covid-19. While neither player has been named, the total of players on the Browns Reserve/COVID-19 List now sits at eight including Denzel Ward who missed the Browns Week 17 clash with the Steelers.
In addition to HC Kevin Stefanski testing positive, here are the Browns other COVID issues:— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 5, 2021
A DB coach (Mesa test today) and TE coach (Mesa test today). A WR and OL (Mesa tests today). https://t.co/i7USJ6PCtW
The status of players on the Reserve/COVID-19 List for the Browns who missed Week 17 are still up in the air when it comes to the Wild Card this weekend in Pittsburgh. Depending on each player’s symptoms and the results of their subsequent tests, some may be able to come off the list in time for the game, but anything definitive cannot be determined at this time.
Sunday’s Wild Card game is still on track to be played, but the Browns facility is once again closed until close contacts can be figured out. The Browns will work with the league and medical experts to determine the next steps.
We were informed this morning that Head Coach Kevin Stefanski, two additional members of the coaching staff and two players have tested positive for COVID-19.— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 5, 2021
Our contingency planning calls for Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer to serve as the acting Head Coach. pic.twitter.com/Mhh9Zt1e4d
Keep your eyes locked on Behind The Steel Curtain for more breaking news on the Browns Covid-19 situation.
According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, as of now, the Steelers vs. Browns game scheduled for Sunday Night remains on as scheduled as contact tracing is completed.
The #Browns-#Steelers playoff game remains on as scheduled Sunday night, source said, but the five in Cleveland who tested positive for COVID-19 today -- including head coach Kevin Stefanski -- are out. Contact tracing and genomic sequencing ongoing.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 5, 2021
The two Browns players who tested positive, per Pelissero, are offensive linemen Joel Bitonio and wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge.