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Browns Close Facility After Coach Tests Positive for COVID-19

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2021

A general view of the Cleveland Browns helmet logo on the padding of a goal post before an NFL football game between the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Cleveland. The Ravens won 47-42. (AP Photo/David Richard)
David Richard/Associated Press

The Cleveland Browns announced Saturday they've closed their team facilities again following another positive COVID-19 test result from an unnamed member of the coaching staff.

Here's the team's full statement:

Cleveland Browns @Browns

We will continue virtual meetings as the facility is currently closed while contact tracing is conducted. https://t.co/yGBx62dDe0

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that offensive line coach Bill Callahan and assistant offensive line coach Scott Peters won't coach Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Assistant Ryan Cordell will handle their responsibilities, per Schefter. 

The Browns' facilities were previously closed Wednesday and Thursday to conduct contact tracing after multiple positive tests, per ESPN's Jake Trotter.

Cleveland received clearance from the NFL to resume practice Friday ahead of Sunday's critical Week 17 game against the AFC North rival Steelers.

The team has placed 11 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list since last Saturday—Andrew Sendejo, Denzel Ward, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Harrison Bryant, Jacob Phillips, Jarvis Landry, Javon Patterson, Karl Joseph, KhaDarel Hodge, Malcolm Smith and Rashard Higgins—per Trotter.

However, Dr. Allen Sills of the NFL said the situation doesn't rise to the level of an outbreak because there's no evidence of coronavirus transmission between players, according to the ESPN report.

"To date, we don't see any connection among the recent positive cases with the Browns, so there's no evidence of transmission within the facility," Sills said Wednesday. "But obviously we're going to continue to work through that and continue to monitor the test results on a day-to-day basis."

The Browns can clinch their first playoff berth since 2002 with a victory over the Steelers. And there are seven other scenarios that can still earn them a spot in the postseason with a tie or loss.

Cleveland lost a previous meeting with Pittsburgh, 38-7, in mid-October.

Sunday's matchup so far remains on schedule for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff at FirstEnergy Stadium.

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