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Browns head coach to miss playoff game after positive COVID-19 test

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The Cleveland Browns’ head coach, Kevin Stefanski, has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Sunday’s playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team announced on Tuesday.

The Browns said in a statement that Stefanski, along with two members of his coaching staff and two players, received positive COVID-19 tests Tuesday morning. Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will serve as the team’s acting head coach on Sunday.

“Our facility is currently closed while contact tracing is taking place,” the team said. “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.”

NFL rules mandate that those who test positive need to sit out for at least 10 days. 

League spokesperson Brian McCarthy said in a statement that there are no planned changes for the game, scheduled for 8:15 p.m. in Pittsburgh, but added that contact tracing will be conducted.

“If any players or personnel are identified as such, they would remain apart from the team and facilities for five days from the last exposure to a positive individual,” McCarthy said. “They would be eligible to return to the team and play in the game.”

The Browns earned their spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2002 by defeating the Steelers last weekend. Cleveland, which finished the regular season with 11 wins and five losses, is scheduled to end the NFL’s longest playoff drought by participating in the first round of the AFC playoffs, The Associated Press noted.

Last week, the team had six players and three assistant coaches sit out due to positive COVID-19 tests. 

Tags Cleveland Cleveland Browns Coronavirus COVID-19 COVID-19 positive Football National Football League NFL NFL playoffs Ohio Pandemic playoffs
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