Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski was in a familiar situation on Tuesday at team headquarters in Berea.
According to Lindsay Jones at The Athletic, the Browns were forced to send several players home after a player tested positive for COVID-19, with the others being tagged as high risk, close contacts of the infected player.
The players who were in the close contact category are between their first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Jones, and must now quarantine for five days, according to protocols put in place by the NFL.
The Browns are currently in Phase III of the offseason program, with several veteran players not reporting to Berea for the voluntary Organized Team Activities at the urging of the NFL Players Association, which is working to revamp the offseason program.
The coaching staff has been holding virtual meetings and working on limited on-field drills with the players who are in Berea. The team originally planned to hold the allowed 10 OTAs in some form, but today’s news has put a kink in those plans.
The Browns became well versed in dealing with COVID during the 2020 season as at one time or another they lost, among others, defensive end Myles Garrett; right guard Joel Bitonio; cornerback Denzel Ward; Stefanski; and wide receivers Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones and KhaDarel Hodge - all in the same game - either for testing positive or being a high risk, close contact of someone who did test positive.