Kevin Stefansky, the Cleveland Browns coach, two additional members of the coaching staff, and two players tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and will not be available for the AFC match against 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 in the offensive plays instead 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 who tested positive were defensive coach Jeff Howard and coach Drew Petzing.
According to NFL rules, anyone who test positive must sit for at least 10 days.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told The Associated Press that there is no change in the status of Sunday night’s game at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field. The Browns closed their training facility on Tuesday for the fifth time in 10 days to conduct contact tracing.
„If any player or individuals are identified as such, they will be out of the team and facilities for five days from their last exposure to a positive person,“ McCarthy said in an email to The Associated Press. Return to the team and play the game.
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 finishers, fullback Malcolm Smith, PJ Goodson, and safety Andrew Sindigo were all out of Sunday’s match after testing positive for the coronavirus. Nickelback Kevin Johnson was placed on the Reserve / COVID-19 list as well, the day before the match.
Brown is playing in their first playoff game since 2002 after the longest drought in the NFL.
The Steelers opened the day as a consensus favorite with 4.5 points over Brown, but the streak grew to -5.5 Pittsburgh after the news Tuesday morning.
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 that 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.
Kevin Seifert of ESPN and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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