The Cleveland Browns are in the NFL playoffs for the first time since 2002. That’s excellent news, but it’s been a difficult first appearance in almost two decades.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski, as well as several key players, have tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Those developments also caused team facilities to be shut down, but there is at least good news on that front.
Team activities have resumed with the Browns finally able to return to the practice field. That comes after days of being limited to virtual meetings only leading up to that first playoff appearance since 2002.
In other words, it could not have been worse timing for a COVID outbreak to happen.
That especially holds true after Cleveland handed the Steelers a loss less than a week ago. Having to play that same team again so soon is difficult. It will be even more difficult now, however, as the Browns are now the team short-handed.
I guess it’s a good thing that Pittsburgh has lost four of its last five games while the Browns are 6-2 over their last eight. Not that it matters much now that the playoffs have started.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.