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NFL News: Cleveland Browns HC Stefanski and 5 other players out vs Steelers due to COVID-19

Cleveland Browns Head Coach Kevin Stefanski
Cleveland Browns Head Coach Kevin Stefanski
Walter Sharp
ANALYST
Modified 06 Jan 2021, 00:36 IST
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Cleveland Browns are being hit with the COVID-19 Pandemic at the worst time

Cleveland Browns will be heading into their NFL Wild Card Playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers without their Head Coach Kevin Stefanski. The news broke on Tuesday that head coach Kevin Stefanski had tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the game against the Steelers.

Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will step in as acting head coach. Cleveland will also miss five players that are wide receivers and offensive lineman.

Let's take a deeper look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the Cleveland Browns in the last two weeks.


How the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the Cleveland Browns

On Tuesday, the Cleveland Browns had to shut down their training facility for the fifth time in 10 days, this time to conduct contract tracing tests. This could have not come at a worse time for the Browns, who are set to make a trip to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers in the NFL Wild Card playoff game.

This isn't the first time Cleveland will be heading into a game short-handed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Week 16, the Cleveland Browns were without their wide receivers because of the pandemic. In their Week 17 playoff-clinching win against the Steelers, they were without six starters and three coaches.

Cleveland Browns are heading into their first playoff game since 2002 with a total of eight players and six coaches on the COVID-19 list.

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Let's take a look at the Browns' COVID-19 list:

Coaches:

  • HC: Kevin Stefanski
  • TE Coach: Drew Petzing
  • DB Coach: Jeff Howard
  • OL Coaches: Bill Callahan and Scott Peters
  • WR Coach: Chad O'Shea

Players:

  • CB: Denzel Ward
  • TE: Harrison Bryant
  • Linebackers: Malcolm Smith and B.J. Goodson
  • S: Andrew Sendejo
  • Nickelback: Kevin Johnson
  • LG: Joel Bitonio
  • WR: KhaDarel Hodge

The NFL has said the game is still on for Sunday at 8:15 PM. They made it clear they would not reschedule games because of competitive advantage. Cleveland will go into their game against Pittsburgh short-handed but could still leave with a win.

The Browns will not go down without a fight despite all the players on the COVID-19 list. After all, Cleveland was missing six of those players on the list in Week 17 and still won and clinched a playoff spot.

Published 06 Jan 2021, 00:36 IST
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