The Cleveland Browns continue to battle COVID-19. This time, head coach Kevin Stefanski has tested positive, compelling the organization to announce a contingency plan if the coach isn’t available for Sunday night’s Wild Card game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“The Cleveland Browns 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,” the Browns announced in a statement. “Our facility is currently closed while contact tracing is taking place. The team will continue to consult with the league and medical experts to determine the appropriate next steps as the health and safety of our players, coaches, staff and the entire community remains our highest priority. Our contingency planning calls for Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer to serve as the acting Head Coach.”
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) January 5, 2021
The Browns facility was closed Saturday after a positive test amongst the coaching staff. Offensive line coach Bill Callahan and assistant offensive line coach Scott Peters were not on the sideline Sunday for the Steelers game after testing positive.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports that Stefanski is “out” for Sunday’s game. He further reports that contact tracing is taking place. Cleveland.com reporter Mary Kay Cabot is reporting that one of the players who tested positive “is significant.” Stefanski will handle coaching duties through the week but will miss the game. Tight ends coach Drew Petzing and defensive backs coach Jeff Howard will also be out Sunday.
Update: Pelissero says LG Joel Bitonio and wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge tested positive.
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.
Our contingency planning calls for Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer to serve as the acting Head Coach. pic.twitter.com/Mhh9Zt1e4d
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 5, 2021