Kevin Stefanski v Cleveland Browns ‘full speed ahead’ in Pittsburgh Steelers playoff after no positive COVID-19 test


BEREA, Ohio – Cleveland Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said his team was “moving forward at full speed” after the latest round of the COVID-19 test yielded no new positive results.

“You just have to put together a plan and find a way to win,” said Stefanski, who achieved a positive result at COVID-19 on Tuesday and will not be available for Sunday’s playoff match against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pro Bowl defender Joel Bitonio and broad receiver KhaDarel Hodge will also not be available after the positive test, but Stefanski said on Wednesday that no other player will be placed on the reserve / COVID-19 list immediately after contact tracking failed. high risk close relationship.

Although the team’s training facility will remain closed until Wednesday, Stefanski said the Browns will continue virtual preparations for the Steelers, including what they call a “virtual crossover” in the afternoon.

“I’m disappointed with anyone who can’t be a part of this, all of our guys who can’t be a part of it disappoint me, but we need to find a way,” said Stefanski, who remarked that she was having a good time despite being infected with the coronavirus. “That’s our responsibility. We’re working on that.”

Stefanski will not be the only coach left without the Browns in Pittsburgh. Tight-headed assistant Drew Petzing and defensive quarterback coach Jeff Howard also showed the virus positive, a source told ESPN. Browns have already missed offensive line coach Bill Callahan and pass coordinator Chad O’Shea, who both missed last Sunday’s victory over the Steelers due to COVID-19 protocols.

Under NFL rules, anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must sit for at least 10 days, including coaches.

Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer has been appointed Sunday’s head coach. As the Browns continue to confuse their staff, Stefanski also confirmed that Alex Van Pelt is calling offensive coordinator games.

“[Van Pelt] it was a huge part of our offensive successes, a huge part of the game calls, “Stefanski said.” He knows the things we believe in, how we play. … I am very confident that AVP can do the job. “

NFL rules require Stefanski to communicate with the team by phone or video chat until departure, at 8:15 p.m., as long as it takes place in the locker room. After the kick-off, further contact is not allowed even at halftime.

The Browns have a high number of players on the reserve / COVID-19 list in the league, including starting corner defender Denzel Ward, linebackers BJ Goodson and Malcolm Smith, rookie scarce Harrison Bryant and safety Andrew Sendejo. Their status on Sunday is still unclear.

The Browns are entering the playoffs for the first time since 2002 after breaking the NFL’s longest post-season drought. According to Elias Sports Office, 17 consecutive games were also lost in Pittsburgh, the third longest series of mazes in NFL history against a single opponent. Cleveland has not won a playoff since 1994.

“Guys understand what I’m talking about, they understand what our team is about,” Stefanski said. “Everyone knows what’s at stake and they’re very excited about the opportunity.”