The team confirmed that Mayfield, as well as cornerback Troy Hill, safety John Johnson III, defensive tackle Malik McDowell, defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo and safety Nathan Meadors were placed on reserve/COVID-19 lists Wednesday. Browns running backs coach Ryan Cordell also tested positive, according to ESPN.
If Mayfield and Stefanski do not turn in two negative COVID-19 tests by Saturday, they will miss Saturday afternoon’s game against the visiting Las Vegas Raiders (6-7), ESPN reported. The Browns (7-6) trail the Baltimore Ravens by a game in the AFC North and are battling for one of the seven AFC playoff spots. The Browns are currently seeded eighth.
If Mayfield is unable to play, Case Keenum will receive his second start in Cleveland, WJW-TV reported.
“I think it’s all eyes forward. Everyone’s getting ready to go. Maybe a lot more mentally,” Keenum told the television station. “We’re looking nowhere but forward. We don’t have time or energy to look backward.”
In his last start with Cleveland, Keenum led the Browns to a 17-14 win against the Denver Broncos, throwing for 199 yards and one touchdown.
If Stefanski, 39, is unable to coach on Saturday, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will serve as Cleveland’s acting head coach, ESPN reported.
“It’s just another obstacle that’s in the way,” Stefanski told reporters on Wednesday. “We have really good leadership on this team with our players, and I really believe that they are going to focus on the task at hand.”
In a statement, the Browns said that Stefanski “is feeling fine and will continue his head-coaching duties virtually.” Stefanski said Tuesday that he had received a COVID-19 booster in addition to being vaccinated.
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