Browns HC Kevin Stefanski clears COVID protocols, returns to team facility

After a disturbing rash of positive COVID-19 tests that forced the Cleveland Browns to play a rescheduled game without head coach Kevin Stefanski in Week 15, the club welcomed Stefanski, among others, back to the team facility Wednesday.

The move means Stefanski won’t have to travel on his own to Green Bay this weekend and hope for a late clearance from COVID protocols prior to the Browns’ game against the Packers on Saturday. Also activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list were tight end Austin Hooper and linebacker Jacob Phillips.

It’s just the beginning to the team’s return to a semblance of normalcy, and there are plenty of COVID-19 tests yet to be taken before it’s clear how complete of a team will take the field for the Browns in Green Bay. Players still on the reserve/COVID-19 list include quarterback Baker Mayfield, linebacker Mack Wilson, tackle Jedrick Wills, wide receiver Jarvis Landry, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, safety Grant Delpit, linebacker Tony Fields, guard Drew Forbes, cornerback A.J. Green, safety Ronnie Harrison, cornerback Troy Hill, tackle James Hudson, running back Kareem Hunt, quarterback Case Keenum, defensive tackle Malik McDowell, cornerback Greg Newsome, and defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo.

Mayfield is still subject to the possibility of traveling on his own, as his 10-day isolation under league protocols is set to end on game day.

Returns from the COVID list will be critical this week for a 7-7 Browns team that is fighting for a playoff berth with three games left to play.

As of Wednesday, however, the club’s leader is at least back in the building.

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