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Cleveland Browns Head Coach Tests Positive for COVID-19 Ahead of Playoffs

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, left, talks with Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Cleveland.
Ron Schwane
/
Associated Press
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, left, talks with Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Cleveland.

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the team's first playoff game since 2002 on Sunday.

The team announced Stefanski’s positive result and said two other unidentified players and more coaching staff members tested positive as well. According to NFL rules, anyone testing positive must sit out at least 10 days.

"Our facility is currently closed while contact tracing is taking place," the team said in a statement. "The team will continue to consult with the league and medical experts to determine the appropriate next steps as the health and safety of our players, coaches, staff and the entire community remains our highest priority."

It’s a major blow to the Browns, who qualified for the playoffs for the first time in 17 seasons last Sunday with a 24-22 win over Pittsburgh. The team's offensive line coach and several key defensive players had missed that game after being added to the COVID-19 list, and positive tests forced Browns to miss several days of practice last week.

The Browns will play the Steelers again this week in the first round of the AFC playoffs. Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will serve as acting head coach in Stefanski's absence.

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