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NFL won't make exception to electronic communications rule for Browns coach Kevin Stefanski

Kevin Stefanski
Posted at 3:18 PM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 15:18:13-05

CLEVELAND — A longstanding NFL policy prohibits team employees from engaging in electronic communication about competitive or strategic information during games, a league spokesperson told News 5 media partner at the Akron Beacon Journal.

On Tuesday, Stefanski tested positive for COVID-19 and he won’t be able to join the Browns (11-5) when they visited the Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4) for an AFC wild-card playoff game at 8:15 p.m. at Heinz Field.

Akron Beacon Journal reporter Nate Ulrich asked if the league would make an exception for Stefanski because the Browns face a unique situation with their head coach missing a playoff game due to COVID-19, and league spokesperson Brian McCarthy wrote in a email, “No change. And we didn’t make an exception for the Lions during the regular season either.”

Stefanski said Wednesday that he didn’t know whether the Browns had asked the league to make an exception.

"I don't know," Stefanski said on Zoom. "I just know what the rules are, and I'll follow them." Read the full article here.

Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will be Cleveland’s acting coach Sunday while Stefanski is away. According to NFL rules, anyone testing positive must sit out at least 10 days.

Two coach staff members—tight ends coach Drew Petzing and defensive backs coach Jeff Howard —tested positive as well.

According to the Browns, Joel Bitonio and KhaDarel Hodge have tested positive for COVID-19.

RELATED: Browns' Stefanski positive for COVID-19, out of playoff game

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What Happened Now?

BROWNS 2021 SCHEDULE

Preseason

WEEK 1 · W · Sat 8/14 · 7:00 PM at Jacksonville Jaguars (23-13)
WEEK 2 · W · Sun 8/22 · 1:00 PM vs. New York Giants (17-13)
WEEK 3 · W · Sun 8/29 · 8:00 PM at Atlanta Falcons (19-10)

Regular Season

WEEK 1 · L ·Sun 9/12 · 4:25 PM EST at Kansas City Chiefs (33-29)

WEEK 2 · W · Thu 9/19 · 1:00 PM EST Houston Texans (31-21)

WEEK 3 · W · Sun 9/26 · 1:00 PM EST Chicago Bears (26-6)

WEEK 4 · W · Sun 10/3 · 1:00 PM EST at Minnesota Vikings (14-7)

WEEK 5 · L· Sun 10/10 · 4:05 PM EST at Los Angeles Chargers (47-42)

WEEK 6 · L· Sun 10/17 · 4:05 PM EST Arizona Cardinals (37-14)

WEEK 7 · W · Thu 10/21 · 8:20 PM EST Denver Broncos (17-14)

WEEK 8 · L · Sun 10/31 · 1:00 PM EST Pittsburgh Steelers (15-10)

WEEK 9 · W · Sun 11/7 · 1:00 PM EST at Cincinnati Bengals (41-16)

WEEK 10 · L · Sun 11/14 · 1:00 PM EST at New England Patriots (45-7)

WEEK 11 · W · Sun 11/21 · 1:00 PM EST Detroit Lions (13-10)

WEEK 12 · Sun 11/28 · 8:20 PM EST at Baltimore Ravens (NBC)

WEEK 13 · BYE

WEEK 14 · Mon 12/12 · 1:00 PM EST Baltimore Ravens (CBS)

WEEK 15 · Dec. 18/19 · TBD Las Vegas Raiders (TBD)

WEEK 16 · Sat 12/25 · 4:30 PM at Green Bay Packers (FOX/NFLN/AMZ)

WEEK 17 · Mon 1/3 · 8:15 PM EST at Pittsburgh Steelers (ESPN)

WEEK 18 · Sun 1/9 · 1:00 PM EST Cincinnati Bengals (CBS)