Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski, two extra members of the teaching workers and two gamers have examined constructive for COVID-19 and won’t be obtainable for the AFC wild-card recreation in opposition to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night time if the sport stays as scheduled.
In making the announcement Tuesday, the Browns mentioned special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer will function the appearing head coach.
The Browns shut down their observe facility Tuesday for a fifth time in 10 days to conduct contact tracing.
A supply advised ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the opposite coaches to check constructive have been a defensive backs coach and a decent finish coach, and the gamers’ positions have been broad receiver and offensive line.
Throughout Sunday’s win over the Steelers within the regular-season finale, the Browns needed to play with out six starters due to COVID-19 protocols, in addition to offensive line coaches Invoice Callahan and Scott Peters and broad receivers coach Chad O’Shea.
Star cornerback Denzel Ward, tight finish Harrison Bryant, linebackers Malcolm Smith and B.J. Goodson and security Andrew Sendejo all sat out Sunday’s recreation after testing constructive for COVID-19. Nickelback Kevin Johnson was positioned on the reserve/COVID-19 record as nicely, a day earlier than the sport.
The Browns are enjoying of their first playoff recreation since 2002 after snapping the NFL’s longest postseason drought.
The Steelers opened the day as consensus 4.5-point favorites over the Browns, however the line grew to Pittsburgh -5.5 after the information Tuesday morning.
After a sequence of roster administration modifications this summer time, together with an enlargement of observe squads to 16 gamers, the NFL has made clear it will not transfer video games for aggressive causes. The league adopted via on that pledge, shifting video games solely when it believed an inner group outbreak was underway and will result in additional infections and probably unfold to opponents.
In consequence, the Baltimore Ravens misplaced a Week 12 game in opposition to Pittsburgh with out quarterback Lamar Jackson, who was amongst at the very least 14 gamers who examined constructive in the course of the group’s outbreak. The Denver Broncos have been compelled to play in Week 12 with none of their 4 quarterbacks, dropping to the New Orleans Saints. And the Detroit Lions performed in Week 16 with out interim head coach Darrell Bevell and most of their defensive workers, dropping to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
ESPN’s Kevin Seifert contributed to this report.