The Cleveland Browns are trying to prepare for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 17, but COVID-19 has put a giant wrench into those plans.
The Cleveland Browns are in a dire situation Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium when the Pittsburgh Steelers come to town. If they beat the Steelers, who will be quarterbacked by Mason Rudolph and several other starters getting the week off, they will punch their ticket to the AFC Playoffs for the first time since 2002.
However, their preparation for Week 17 has been anything but smooth as the organization has had issues with COVID-19 positive tests with both players and coaches. Friday the Browns had no new positive tests, and the thought was the worst was behind them, but Saturday brought another positive test.
This positive was a member of the coaching staff, not a player, but the Browns have shut down their facility, again, as they go through NFL protocol and contact tracing trying to find way to press forward.
We will continue virtual meetings as the facility is currently closed while contact tracing is conducted. pic.twitter.com/yGBx62dDe0
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 2, 2021
The Browns currently have 6 players on the Reserve/COVID-19 List as well as two more on the Practice Squad/COVID-19 List. Players on the list include tight end Harrison Bryant, safeties Karl Joseph and Andrew Sendejo, linebackers C.J. Goodson and Malcolm Smith, and cornerback Denzel Ward.
The Steelers and Browns game Sunday is still slated to be played at 1:00 p.m. ET in Cleveland. The NFL doesn’t have many options for potentially moving the game, and it is expected the league will do whatever it takes to ensure the game goes on as scheduled.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare not just for Week 17, but the Wild Card round of the AFC Playoffs.