Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski tests positive for COVID-19

Cleveland Browns. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Browns. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cleveland Browns won’t have their head coach this weekend

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced in a statement on Tuesday morning.

In addition to Stefanski, defensive backs coach Jeff Howard and a tight ends coach Drew Petzig, as well as a wide receiver and offensive lineman, have all tested positive for the virus, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.’s Mary Kay Cabot reports that one of the players that tested positive is “significant.”

The Browns facility is now closed for more testing and contact tracing.

These positive MESA tests come in the wake of the Browns making their first postseason since 2002, after beating the Steelers in Week 17 24-22. The Browns will be without their head coach, at least two assistants, and several players for their playoff rematch on Sunday Night Football due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will serve as acting head coach in Stefanski’s absence.

This news comes after the Browns have struggled with COVID-19 positives in recent weeks. Before Week 16’s game with the New York Jets, the entire wide receiver room was deemed high-risk, close contacts to linebacker B.J. Goodson, who tested positive for the virus. Since then, impact players such as Denzel Ward, Malcolm Smith, and Harrison Bryant have tested positive for the virus.

Yet still, the NFL’s medical experts maintained that all of these players were testing positive for COVID-19 due to community spread, not an outbreak within Berea’s facility.

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With positive cases sprinkling in all season long, including to Pro-Bowl pass rusher Myles Garrett, the Browns finished the regular season 11-5. They will now be very short-handed in Pittsburgh against the rested Steelers.