The Cleveland Browns practice facility remains closed on Thursday morning as the team continues to have its preparation for Sunday’s Wild Card Round playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers impacted by its weeks-long COVID-19 outbreak.
Five Browns tested positive on Tuesday, including head coach Kevin Stefanski, two assistants and two players, giving Cleveland 10 men on the COVID-19 reserve list. The outbreak has already forced the Browns to play short-handed for two consecutive games.
Those positives prompted the Browns to close their practice facility in Berea, Ohio on Wednesday, meaning the team missed its first of three scheduled practice dates in advance of Sunday’s playoff game, the first for a Cleveland team since 2002.
If the Browns get negative tests back Thursday, they could open their facility later in the day and at least have a walk through if not a full practice session. Teams are permitted three full practice sessions per week and the Steelers practiced on Wednesday and Thursday, giving the team a preparation advantage of their nearby rivals.
Stefanski, who will miss the game after testing positive, did not make the lack of practice time an excuse when speaking with the Cleveland media on Wednesday.
“We’re full speed ahead,” he said. “We have an opponent that we know well, and they know us well. Just have to put a plan together, and again, go find a way to get a win.”