Sunday is a bittersweet day for Browns followers.
Whereas Cleveland devoted can experience the franchise’s first playoff look since Kelly Holcomb donned the brown and orange in 2003, the crew faces a steep, uphill climb as they clutch on the Steelers on Sunday evening. No longer finest because Cleveland faces off against division-rival Pittsburgh for a 3rd time this season, nonetheless because they’ll be without several coaches and gamers heading into the wild-card matchup.
Earlier last week, head coach Kevin Stefanski used to be one among several Browns gamers and personnel to take a look at determined for the coronavirus (COVID-19), leaving them out
The Browns private had several brushes with COVID-19 this season, including a alarm with quarterback Baker Mayfield earlier in the season: Mayfield landed on the Cleveland COVID-19 list after coming in terminate contact with one other member of the Browns who had tested determined, nonetheless never tested determined for the virus himself.
Now, heading into their first playoff look in nearly about two a long time, the Browns private a more than complicated job earlier than them.
Browns COVID-19 list
The outbreak in Cleveland, which started nearly about three weeks in the past now, has scurry by the active roster and, reaching the coaching ranks the week of Jan. 3. Whereas some gamers were activated from the COVID-19 list on Saturday, there’s nonetheless a bevvy of gamers and coaches faraway from the self-discipline reach Sunday.
Gamers — and coaches — idle for Sunday:
- Head coach Kevin Stefanski
- Tight ends coach Drew Perzlig
- Defensive backs coach Jeff Howard
- Offensive line coach Bill Callahan
- Assistant offensive line coach Scott Peters
- Offensive lineman Joe Bitonio
- Defensive back Denzel Ward
- Defensive back Kevin Johnson
- Wider receiver KhaDarel Hodges
Tight end Harrison Bryant, safety Ronnie Harrison and linebacker Malcolm Smith, who were placed on the COVID-19 list no longer too long in the past, were all activated from the COVID-19/reserve list on Saturday, allowing them to play in Sunday’s sport.
How did the Browns outbreak initiate up?
Whereas there used to be no reported genesis, meeting or sure breach of NFL’s coronavirus protocols, in December, several Browns gamers were placed on the crew’s reserve/COVID-19 list earlier than their matchup with the Jets: large receivers Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, KhaDarel Hodge and Donovan Peoples-Jones, and linebackers BJ Goodson and Jacob Phillips additionally landed on the list. The sport might perhaps well be performed as scheduled, and the Browns would lose 23-16 to Glossy York.
Before Cleveland’s Week 17 matchup vs. Pittsburgh, Landry, Higgin and Peoples-Jones were activated, while Hodge remained on the list. They were delivered more contaminated files, though: safeties Andrew Sendejo and Karl Joseph would land on the COVID-19 list, alongside tight end Harrison Bryant.
The crew would terminate its facility on Dec. 30 to enable for the NFL to conduct its contact tracing coverage, sooner or later reopening the same day.
Cleveland would surprise Pittsburgh in Week 17, earning a clutch and a playoff berth, nonetheless might perhaps well be dealt contaminated files following the clutch, with head coach Kevin Stefanski and other coaches testing determined for COVID-19, leaving Cleveland’s playoff hopes in the arms of Browns special groups coach Mike Priefer, who is the appearing head coach on Sunday.
Glossy Browns assessments private all returned negative, that methodology all systems are slide for Sunday’s playoff matchup with the Steelers.
“Whereas we are persevering with to video show, there’s been no indication of a selection amongst the crew facility,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Mike Florio of Pro Soccer Discuss. “Right here is based completely mostly on contact tracing and additionally genomic sequencing that has been performed to this point.”
Ought to the Browns reach, Stefanski and others are expected to obtain their return in the divisional spherical.