Browns working virtually due to COVID-19 issues
UNDATED (AP) — The Cleveland Browns continue to work virtually while trying to get a handle on a COVID-19 situation that has knocked coach Kevin Stefanski out of Sunday’s playoff game.
Stefanski tested positive Tuesday and won’t be with the team in Pittsburgh for the wild-card game, Cleveland’s first playoff game since 2003.
Stefanski is working from home as the team’s facility remains closed to do contact tracing. The Browns are hoping to be able to practice on the field Wednesday.
Cleveland ended the NFL’s longest playoff drought with a 24-22 victory last weekend over the Steelers, who sat Ben Roethlisberger, T.J. Watt and others. However, the celebration by the Browns and their fans was quickly doused by the positive test for Stefanski as well as Pro Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio and two assistant coaches.
Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will replace Stefanski on the sideline.
In other NFL news:
— Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey has resigned, one season after coming out of retirement. The announcement was made Wednesday, one day after Gailey’s 69th birthday and one day after coach Brian Flores said he expected all of his assistant coaches would return in 2021. With Gailey calling plays, the Dolphins scored 404 points, their highest total since 1986. He had a major role in the development of rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (TOO’-ah tuhng-ah-vy-LOH’-ah), who struggled at times but went 6-3 as a starter. The Dolphins finished 10-6 with one of the NFL’s youngest teams. A blowout loss Sunday at Buffalo kept them out of the playoffs.
— Testing is replacing tailgating in the parking lot at Bills Stadium, with a limited number of fans being allowed to attend Buffalo’s wild-card playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday. Before that can happen, New York state guidelines require the 6,700 or so fans plus another 200 employees and members of the media first test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of kickoff. Each person must show their ID and proof of a negative test before being allowed in the facility. The tests will be conducted Wednesday and Thursday by New Jersey-based BioReference Laboratories. The company is converting a portion of the expansive stadium lots into a drive-thru testing site.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence declaring for NFL draft
UNDATED (AP) — Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has made it official — he’s heading to the NFL.
The 6-foot-6 QB with the power arm and flowing hair released a video on social media Wednesday announcing he was leaving school and declaring for the NFL draft.
Lawrence had said in September he planned to play his junior season, graduate in December and move on to the NFL. However, in October, Lawrence discussed keeping his options open, which included possibly returning for another year of college as discussions of the No. 1 pick intensified between the then winless New York Jets and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jaguars finished 1-15 and have the top pick in the draft and are expected to take Lawrence.
Lawrence finished 34-2 in his college career, leading Clemson to three Atlantic Coast Conference titles and the national title after the 2018 season. He finished second in the Heisman Trophy race Tuesday night to Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith.