Even in the final week of the regular season, the Pittsburgh Steelers can’t escape COVID news. The Cleveland Browns, who the Steelers are scheduled to face Sunday afternoon, announced they’ve closed their team facility due to new positive COVID cases among the team.
The Browns released the following statement:
Our facility is currently closed while contact tracing is taking place. pic.twitter.com/e3Lae3eS5G
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 30, 2020
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, a coach and player on the team’s practice squad tested positive for the virus. As his and the Browns’ tweet note, the organization is now undergoing contact tracing.
The #Browns learned overnight that a coach and a practice-squad player tested positive for COVID-19, source said. Contact tracing is ongoing.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 30, 2020
Yesterday, the team also announced three players were headed to the Reserve/COVID list: TE Harrison Bryant, S Andrew Sendejo, and S Karl Joseph. Reportedly, Bryant and Joseph close-contacts, not positive tests, meaning they could return for Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh. Sendejo reportedly will not play.
We have placed TE Harrison Bryant and S Andrew Sendejo on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 29, 2020
#Browns safety Karl Joseph is going on the reserve/COVID-19 list as a close contact, a source said. Rookie tight end Harrison Bryant is also a close contact. Both Joseph and Bryant could be available to play #Steelers. Safety Andrew Sendejo is on COVID list and won't be available
— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) December 30, 2020
As of now, there are no changes to the Steelers’ Week 17 game. With the postseason just two weeks away, postponing any games would be even more challenging to do.
Last week, the Browns played the Jets without most of their receiver room due to COVID. Those players are expected to return for the finale. With their offense hampered, the Browns were upset by the Jets and now need a win this weekend to guarantee their playoff spot.