The Cleveland Browns have closed their facility for the third time in four days after yet another positive COVID-19 test within the organization.
Once again, the team will conduct contact tracing and work remotely while preparing for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns can clinch their first playoff spot in 17 seasons with a victory.
For the second time this week, a member of Cleveland's coaching staff tested positive for the coronavirus. Coach Kevin Stefanski announced Friday that the Browns would be without wide receivers coach Chad O'Shea and that Callie Brownson will fill his role against the Steelers.
In addition, offensive line coach Bill Callahan and assistant offensive line coach Scott Peters will not coach in Sunday's game due to COVID-19 protocols. Coaching assistant Ryan Cordell will handle game-day coaching responsibilities for the offensive line.
The Browns have had COVID-19 issues all week. They had to shut down their practice facility Wednesday and Thursday and canceled Thursday's practice following consecutive days of positive tests.
Cornerback Denzel Ward, tight end Harrison Bryant, linebackers Malcolm Smith and B.J. Goodson, and safety Andrew Sendejo have all tested positive in the past week, according to ESPN and multiple reports. Bryant and Sendejo were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, and Smith and Ward were added to it Thursday. Goodson went on the list last Saturday. All five will miss Sunday's game.
Starting nickelback Kevin Johnson was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday night and won't play on Sunday.
Despite the new cases, the game at Cleveland's FirstEnergy Stadium has remained on the schedule, according to an NFL spokesperson. The league is closely monitoring the Browns' situation and overseeing standard contact tracing. The NFL's Dr. Allen Sills has said that there has been no indication that an outbreak within the Browns' organization is underway.
The Browns on Saturday activated safety Karl Joseph from the reserve/COVID-19 list, signed guard Blake Hance from the Jets' practice squad and elevated guard Cordell Iwuagwu, tackle Alex Taylor and linebacker Montrel Meander from their own practice squad.