Cleveland Browns won’t face Kliff Kingsbury on Sunday
The Cleveland Browns might be sympathetic to the Arizona Cardinals being without Kliff Kingsbury this Sunday, but they won’t take it easy on them
On Sunday, the Arizona Cardinals are facing something the Cleveland Browns know all too well — they will have to take the field without their head coach as Kliff Kingsbury tested positive for COVID.
Cleveland dealt with the same issue last January when they played their first playoff game since after the 2002 season. Set to face the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland was without Kevin Stefanski who also tested positive for COVID.
Stefanski watched from his basement as Mike Priefer handled the head coaching duties. And it didn’t take long to realize they were well-prepared even without him as they won the game easily.
So while it’s tempting to act as though a team without a coach will be easy to knock off, Cleveland knows that it’s not that simple. They understand that the head coach can still be a part of the game-planning through virtual meetings and in the end, the big hurdle for the club will be who takes over the play-calling duties.
Kingsbury, like Stefanski in Cleveland, calls the offensive plays for Arizona. However, unlike Cleveland, the Cards don’t technically have an offensive coordinator. Instead, they have a run-game coordinator and offensive line coach in Sean Kugler. While it’s probably safe to assume he will take over play-calling, assistant head coach and special team’s coordinator Jeff Rodgers is likely to be the interim head coach.
Kingsbury is a great play-caller and his loss will definitely hurt Arizona. However, they’re sure to still be ready to roll and give the Browns everything they have.
It does mean, however, that Baker Mayfield won’t be able to stick it to Kingsbury in their second meeting in the NFL.