PLAY-OFFS! PLAY-OFFS! PLAY-ugh...
We were informed this morning that Head Coach Kevin Stefanski, two additional members of the coaching staff and two players have tested positive for COVID-19.— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 5, 2021
Our contingency planning calls for Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer to serve as the acting Head Coach. pic.twitter.com/Mhh9Zt1e4d
The team also announced that two other members of the coaching staff and two players have also tested positive. Those names have not yet been released, but whoever they are will be ruled out for Sunday’s game as well.
The Browns’ contingency plan is for Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer to serve as acting head coach for the playoff game. Assuming he didn’t test positive, one would assume that offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt would take on playcalling duties for Cleveland.
We’ll update this post as further updates come along. The team will likely have to conduct contact tracing as well — which kind of sucks, because players are around the head coach a lot.
UPDATE (11:15 AM): Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the other positives (pending another test) include a defensive backs coach, tight ends coach, a wide receiver, and an offensive lineman.
In addition to HC Kevin Stefanski testing positive, here are the Browns other COVID issues:— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 5, 2021
A DB coach (Mesa test today) and TE coach (Mesa test today). A WR and OL (Mesa tests today). https://t.co/i7USJ6PCtW
UPDATE (11:23 AM): Per Mary Kay Cabot of he Plain Dealer, the coaches who tested positive and are out include tight ends coach Drew Petzing and defensive backs coach Jeff Howard. She also says that “1 of the 2 players who tested positive is significant,” which means we’re losing a top WR or OL.
UPDATE (11:48 AM): Dammit even more. It’s LG Joel Bitonio and WR KhaDarel Hodge who tested positive. Bitonio was the team’s longest-tenured Browns player and was so thrilled to play in his first playoff game...