Browns coach Kevin Stefanski, quarterback Baker Mayfield test positive for COVID-19

With their playoff hopes on the line, the Cleveland Browns could be without their starting quarterback and head coach Saturday against the Las Vegas Raiders.

The day after the Browns had to place eight players on the COVID-19 reserve list because of positive test results, head coach Kevin Stefanski and quarterback Baker Mayfield also have tested positive.

A person familiar with the situation confirmed to USA TODAY Sports that Mayfield had tested positive Wednesday morning, not long after the Browns announced Stefanski had tested positive for the second consecutive season. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose medical information.

In a statement released by spokesman Peter John-Baptiste, the Browns said, “This morning’s testing round has produced additional positive COVID-19 results. Head coach Kevin Stefanski, who has been vaccinated and received a booster, has tested positive and has immediately self-isolated. He is feeling fine and will continue his head coaching duties virtually as we prepare for the Las Vegas Raiders game on Saturday.

“Should Coach Stefanski not produce two negative tests by Saturday, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will serve as acting head coach and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt will serve as the play caller in Saturday’s game. Additionally, acting running backs coach Ryan Cordell has tested positive. Our player round of testing is still being conducted and any player transactions related to COVID-19 reserve will be updated and announced once finalized.”

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Because he is vaccinated, Stefanski would be eligible to return if he remains symptom-free and produces two negative test results in a 24-hour span leading up to Saturday’s game. Mayfield also would be eligible to return under the same circumstances if vaccinated.

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