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Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski tests positive for COVID-19

Ravens Browns Football
Posted at 9:11 AM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 11:04:38-05

CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has tested positive for COVID-19, one day after the team revealed it's experiencing its worst outbreak of the pandemic.

Stefanski disclosed Tuesday that he has received the booster.

He will continue head coaching duties virtually and if he is not cleared by Saturday to return, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will serve as head coach and Alex Van Pelt will call plays.

This comes after the Browns placed eight players on the Reserve/COVID-19 lis, many of them key offensive players.

Placed on reserve/COVID-19:

  • G Drew Forbes
  • TE Austin Hooper
  • WR Jarvis Landry
  • DE Takkarist McKinley
  • G Wyatt Teller
  • T Jedrick Wills
  • CB Troy Hill
  • S John Johnson III
  • QB Baker Mayfield
  • DT Malik McDowell
  • DE Ifeadi Odenigbo

Placed on practice squad/COVID-19:

  • WR JoJo Natson
  • TE Ross Travis
  • S Nate Meadors

Three other players remain on the list from last week.

Per NFL and NFLPA policy, teams can not comment on a player's medical status other than referring to their roster status and can not disclose whether a player is in quarantine or is positive for the virus.

The Browns are already thin in the tight end room with Harrison Bryant dealing with a high ankle sprain. If a vaccinated player tests positive for COVID-19 they must immediately isolate but can rejoin the team if they remain symptom-free and have two negative tests 24 hours apart. If symptomatic, the vaccinated player has to remain in isolation until asymptomatic for 48 hours and has two negative tests.

If an unvaccinated player tests positive for COVID-19, they must isolate for a minimum of 10 days, even if they are asymptomatic. They can not return until 10 days have passed and 24 hours have passed since the last fever and other symptoms have improved, with clearance from the team physician.

According to the NFL's policy, fully vaccinated players who are close contacts of a person who tests positive for COVID-19 will not be designated as a regular "high-risk close contact," but can be held to daily testing for five days after exposure if deemed a “high risk vaccinated contact” and must wear a mask indoors for that five-day period.

Players who are not fully vaccinated who are deemed “high-risk close contacts" must isolate immediately and are not permitted to return to their team's facility or interact with other team employees and players for at least five days after the last exposure to the infected individual and must be monitored for symptoms while continuing daily PCR testing, per NFL policy.

While receiving positive COVID-19 earlier in the week is promising for vaccinated players to be cleared in time to play, the short week with the game on Saturday makes the news even less than ideal for the Browns.

RELATED: Browns place 8 players, including Jarvis Landry, Wyatt Teller, on Reserve/COVID-19 list

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