The Browns will be without several key players and their head coach when they square off with the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday’s AFC North playoff showdown.
Kevin Stefanski and several of his assistant coaches won’t be on the sidelines for Sunday’s playoff game. Neither will multiple Browns’ starters including safety Ronnie Harrison and left guard Joel Bitonio. Cleveland placed both Bitonio and Harrison on the COVID/reserve list.
To make matters worse, Cleveland hasn’t been able to practice all week. That’s right – the last time Baker Mayfield threw a ball to one of his teammates was last Sunday when the Browns took down the Steelers 24-22.
Despite the numerous COVID-related hiccups within Cleveland’s organization this week, Sunday’s AFC North playoff game is still on, per ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter. The Browns received positive testing news Friday morning. Game on.
Best-case scenario in Cleveland: All Mesa testing done and only the assistant offensive line coach – a prior HRCC – is positive, per source. Players from yesterday and today tested negative, per source.
Sunday night vs. Steelers is on.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 8, 2021
“Best-case scenario” might not be the best way to describe the Browns’ current situation.
Cleveland’s been hit hard with the virus these past few weeks. The Browns haven’t even been able to practice together in an actual on-field setting this week. That lack of preparation – not to mention being down a head coach and several key starters – could spell disaster this weekend.
The Steelers want nothing more than to spoil the Browns’ special season. That’ll prove easier than expected if Cleveland has to play this weekend.
The Browns square off with the Steelers this Sunday at 8:15 p.m. ET on NBC.
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