Kevin Stefansky, the Cleveland Browns coach, two additional members of the coaching staff, and two players have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and will not be available for the AFC wild game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night if the match remains as scheduled.
In the announcement on Tuesday, Brown said that special teams coordinator Mike Brevere will act as acting head coach. A source told ESPN that attack coordinator Alex Van Pelt is expected to call the offensive plays in place of Stefanski.
A broad future Khedral Hodge And the Pro Bowl Joel Bitonio A source told ESPN, the players had been testing positive, while the other coaches tested positive were defensive coach Jeff Howard and narrow end coach Drew Petzing.
According to NFL rules, anyone who test positive must sit for at least 10 days.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Tuesday that there has been no change in the status of Sunday night’s game at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field and that the contact tracing continues. The Browns closed their training facility Tuesday for the fifth time in 10 days.
“If any player or individuals are identified as such, they will remain out of the team and facilities for five days from the last exposure to a positive person. They will be eligible to return to the team. And play in the game,” McCarthy said in a statement.
During Sunday’s win over the Steelers in the regular season final, Brown had to play without six players due to COVID-19 protocols, as well as offensive line coaches Bill Callahan and Scott Peters and broad reception coach Chad O’Shea.
Corner-back superstar Denzel Ward, Harrison Bryant court finisher, full back Malcolm Smith, PJ Goodson and safety Andrew Sindigo all sat out of Sunday’s match after testing positive for COVID-19. Nickelback Kevin Johnson was placed on the Reserve / COVID-19 list as well, the day before the match.
Brown plays in their first playoff game since 2002 after they caught the longest drought in the league.
The consensus streak, which opened with the Steelers -3.5 and rose to -4.5 as of Tuesday’s opening, has now jumped to -6 at Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill after Tuesday’s news.
After a series of roster management changes this summer, including expanding coaching teams to 16 players, the NFL made it clear that it would not move the games for competitive reasons. The League followed this pledge, and only changed matches when they believed an internal team outbreak was underway and could lead to more injuries and possibly spread to opponents.
As a result, the Baltimore Ravens lost the Week 12 match against Pittsburgh without a quarterback Lamar Jackson, Who was among at least 14 players who tested positive for the virus during the team outbreak. The Denver Broncos were forced to play in Week 12 without any of the four midfielders, losing to the New Orleans Saints. The Detroit Lions played in Week 16 without interim coach Daryl Bevel and most of their defensive staff, losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
ESPN’s Kevin Seifert contributed to this report.