For yet another week, fans and personnel associated with the Cleveland Browns will be holding their breaths waiting for the results of COVID-19 tests.
Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has reported that at least one Pittsburgh Steelers player tested positive for the coronavirus less than 24 hours after the Browns downed the Steelers at Heinz Field.
From Steelers PR guy @SteelersPRBurt: "We have sent home our coaching staff, players and other staff members out of caution after we had one player test positive for COVID-19 that included several close contacts. We will continue to work with the NFL on contact tracing."— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) January 11, 2021
The Browns first started dealing with their current COVID-19 issues ahead of their Week 16 loss at the New York Jets. Head coach Kevin Stefanski missed Sunday's victory at Pittsburgh after he, a pair of assistants, and multiple players reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus last week. Stefanski told reporters on Monday that he is dealing with mild symptoms and expects to coach during next Sunday's contest at the Kansas City Chiefs.
As NFL Network's Ian Rapoport noted, the Browns were given an "all clear" as it pertains to their latest round of COVID-19 testing, but that means little moving forward because of what's known about coronavirus incubation periods. For example, Baylor women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey said last week that she was exposed to an infected person on Christmas Day but didn't test positive until Jan. 4.
Any NFL player or coach who tests positive this week would be unavailable through at least the upcoming weekend and potentially through conference championship Sunday.