The Cleveland Browns had no further positive COVID-19 tests Wednesday and that the team’s prime-time game on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers remains on track, a league source told Yahoo Sports.
The status of Sunday’s game isn’t going to change without a fresh spate of infections, but a source inside the Browns said the team has “a long way to go” before getting beyond the most recent outbreak. Cleveland’s facility remained closed Wednesday, as the most recent round of contract tracing concluded without adding additional players or coaches to quarantine.
As it stands, Cleveland has seven players and head coach Kevin Stefanski under their COVID/injured reserve designation, with linebacker B.J. Goodson activated off the list Wednesday. Those that remain, in the chronological order of when they landed on the list: tight end Harrison Bryant and safety Andrew Sendejo (both designated on Dec. 29), linebacker Malcolm Smith and cornerback Denzel Ward (both on Dec. 31), cornerback Kevin Johnson (Jan. 2), as well as guard Joel Bitonio and wideout KhaDarel Hodge.
Apart from Stefanski, the Browns will also be without defensive backs coach Jeff Howard and tight ends coach Drew Petzing, who have also tested positive for COVID. They also lost offensive line coaches Bill Callahan and Scott Peters and passing coordinator/wideouts coach Chad O’Shea prior to the season finale after they all experienced COVID symptoms.
It remains unclear how many players or coaches could return for Sunday’s playoff game.
Like the run-up to their regular-season finale against the Steelers, the Browns have been conducting virtual walkthroughs and classroom work, while players have trained at home during the course of the week. The team could still open the facility this week and resume practices with healthy coaches and players, although it will have to once again produce a round of negative tests on Thursday.
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