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Browns to play Steelers Sunday night in Wild Card round of NFL playoffs

Denzel Ward could return in time for game
Baker Mayfield
Posted at 9:41 PM, Jan 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-03 21:41:05-05

CLEVELAND — The playoff schedule has been set and the Cleveland Browns are taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers in a prime time match-up Sunday night.

Cleveland will travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs on Sunday, Jan. 10 with a kickoff time of 8:15 p.m.

A Sunday playoff game is great news for the Browns who still have key players on their reserve/COVID-19 list, including cornerback Denzel Ward who could be cleared from the list in time for the game.

Players who are asymptomatic and tested positive for COVID-19 Thursday or earlier would be eligible to play in the playoff game Sunday, because 10 days would have passed since the positive test, as long as they pass a cardiac screen, according to NFL COVID-19 protocol.

Any player with symptoms would have to wait 10 days from when symptoms were first reported and have had at least 24 hours without fever. Other symptoms also would have to have improved in that time for the player to be cleared.

Ward, linebackers Malcolm Smith and B.J. Goodson, tight end Harrison Bryant and safety Andrew Sendejo could all be cleared to play next Sunday.

While the Browns may have players able to return in time for the big game, the Steelers will also have a return of some key players, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, linebacker T.J. Watt, defensive tackle Cam Heyward, kicker Chris Boswell and center Maurkice Pouncey, who were all ruled out for Week 17.

The Browns will look to defeat the Steelers for the second week in a row as they make their first playoff appearance since 2002.

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