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Leaked Browns schedule confirmed as fake

Team executive shoots down the rumor, but actual schedule release should only be days away.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Cleveland Browns Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns are and up-and-coming team with an attractive schedule for the 2019 season, making them an ideal selection for a number of primetime games.

Per NFL rules, teams can only be scheduled for five primetime games, but a maximum of three teams can be flexed into a sixth appearance on Sunday Night Football. With a schedule that includes division games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, along with the New England Patriots, Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks, it seems likely the Browns will be featured at least three to four times in primetime.

But which games will be moved from the traditional 1 p.m. kickoff is still unknown, although a schedule posing as legitimate was leaked on Twitter Friday afternoon:

That schedule features the Browns in primetime games Week 1 on Monday night at the New York Jets, Week 2 on Sunday night at home to the Ravens, Week 8 on Sunday night at the Patriots, Week 10 on Monday night at home to the Steelers, and Thanksgiving night at the Arizona Cardinals.

So the Browns would be scheduled for the maximum of five primetime games, which seems a bit overly optimistic. Another tip off that this schedule may not be legit is the idea that the NFL would have the Cardinals host a game on Thanksgiving night.

Sure enough, late Friday night word came down from Peter John-Baptiste, the Browns senior vice president of communications, that the schedule is indeed fake:

That really should not come as a surprise as the NFL keeps these type of things on lockdown.

Last year, the league announced the schedule April 19, which was a Thursday night the week before the NFL Draft. There is no reason to believe they will do anything differently this year, so expect to finally discover just when the Browns are in primetime come next Thursday.