Dec 14, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski during the second half against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski back to work

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski is out of the basement and back at his office at team headquarters in Berea, Ohio.

Stefanski returned to the team after a positive COVID-19 test forced him to isolate in his home last week. Stefanski viewed the team’s first playoff win since 1994 from an uncomfortable distance in the bottom floor of his family’s home.

The Browns beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night to set up a divisional playoff matchup with the AFC’s top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Stefanski was back at work 10 days after being diagnosed with COVID-19 and was required to test negative before returning to the team. Stefanski said his case was mild but he lost his sense of taste.

The Browns didn’t have long to savor the wild-card win with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs awaiting their company at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Kansas City rested during a bye last week and returned to full practice on Monday.

Offensive guard Joel Bitonio, one of the top-rated pass blockers in the NFL, also missed the wild-card game at Pittsburgh due to COVID-19. As of Thursday morning, the Browns had not cleared Bitonio from the reserve/COVID list.

–Field Level Media

Oct 18, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski looks at his play chart a during the second quarter gainst the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski among 5 positive tests

The Cleveland Browns closed their training facility on Tuesday after learning head coach Kevin Stefanski was among five members of the organization to test positive for COVID-19.

Stefanski will be required to isolate and miss the Browns’ first playoff game in 18 years when the team visits the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night. The Browns announced that special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will serve as their acting head coach.

“The Cleveland Browns were informed this morning that Head Coach Kevin Stefanski, two additional members of the coaching staff and two players have tested positive for COVID-19. Our facility is currently closed while contact tracing is taking place,” the team announced 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.”

While the Browns did not divulge the identities of the others, ESPN reported that it involved coaches for the team’s defensive backs and tight ends as well as a wide receiver and offensive lineman.

The Browns closed their facility on three separate days last week after learning of positive tests for COVID-19.

–Field Level Media

Aug 20, 2020; Berea, Ohio, USA;  Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski during training camp at the Cleveland Browns training facility. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Browns’ Stefanski returns to practice after false positive test

Cleveland Browns coach Kevin Stefanski returned to the practice field on Monday, one day after he missed the session following what proved to be a false positive COVID-19 test.

Defensive coordinator Joe Woods ran practice for Stefanski, who was notified at 4 a.m. that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

“It wasn’t fun to have that phone call very early in the morning and not get the news it was a potential error until later,” Stefanski said, per Cleveland.com.

BioReference Laboratories in New Jersey issued a statement that the 77 players, coaches and staff from 11 NFL teams who tested positive were cleared after subsequent retests. The lab blamed the false positives on “isolated contamination.”

Cleveland.com reported that the Browns had more players get false positives than any other team with 12, not including Stefanski and other Browns staffers.

–Field Level Media

Browns’ Stefanski returns to practice after false positive test

Cleveland Browns coach Kevin Stefanski returned to the practice field on Monday, one day after he missed the session following what proved to be a false positive COVID-19 test.

Defensive coordinator Joe Woods ran practice for Stefanski, who was notified at 4 a.m. that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

“It wasn’t fun to have that phone call very early in the morning and not get the news it was a potential error until later,” Stefanski said, per Cleveland.com.

BioReference Laboratories in New Jersey issued a statement that the 77 players, coaches and staff from 11 NFL teams who tested positive were cleared after subsequent retests. The lab blamed the false positives on “isolated contamination.”

Cleveland.com reported that the Browns had more players get false positives than any other team with 12, not including Stefanski and other Browns staffers.

–Field Level Media