‘Embrace the challenge:’ Stefanski, players give updates as team prepares for rescheduled Browns-Raiders game

Sports

BEREA, Ohio (WJW) — Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski gave an update Saturday afternoon as the team prepares for Monday’s rescheduled game against the Raiders.

During the press conference, Stefanski said the team looked good during practice through his “virtual” viewpoint and they are embracing the challenges of this week.

If a starter returns from the COVID list and is feeling well, Stefanski won’t hesitate to place him back in starting position.

Browns 3rd-string QB Nick Mullens said he’s focused on distributing the ball and operating the offense.

“Coach Stefanski tells us if you’re in this room we believe in you,” Mullens said during the press conference.

Also in the press conference was LB Anthony Walker Jr who said he’s remaining even-keeled through the uncertainty this week.

Walker said Mullens is the first guy in the building every day: “He’s a true professional and I have full confidence in him.”

The teams were scheduled to play at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, but it was moved because of positive COVID-19 cases.

The teams have until 2 p.m. Monday to finalize the roster.

Here are the members of the Browns on the COVID list:

  • HC Kevin Stefanski
  • Acting RB Coach Ryan Cordell
  • Offensive AC T.C. McCartney
  • QB Baker Mayfield
  • WR Jarvis Landry
  • CB Troy Hill
  • DT Malik McDowell
  • DE Ifeadi Odenigbo
  • S John Johnson
  • TE Austin Hooper
  • TE Ross Travis
  • OT Jedrick Wills
  • G Wyatt Teller
  • G Drew Forbes
  • WR Jojo Natson
  • S Grant Delpit
  • LB Tony Fields II
  • CB A.J. Green
  • S Ronnie Harrison Jr.
  • RB Kareem Hunt
  • QB Case Keenum
  • LB Jacob Phillips
  • LB Mack Wilson
  • DE Jadeveon Clowney
  • T James Hudson III

The team on Saturday signed LB Willie Harvey Jr. to the active roster and activated DE Porter Gustin from practice squad as a COVID replacement.

DE Takk McKinley has been activated from reserve/COVID list.

To mitigate the situation the Browns implemented multiple new safety measures including making masks mandatory for all players and staff while indoors and bringing players in in shifts.

“We took extra precautions with the guys in terms of how we came into the building how we got dressed left all those things,” said Stefanski, “We’re trying to be smart about this.”

On Thursday, Baker Mayfield, who also tested positive expressed his frustrations and questioned the NFL’s policies saying in part, “You won’t test vaccinated players if they don’t have symptoms then pull this randomly. Doesn’t make any sense.”

Stefanski says the Browns have been operating under a “Next Man Up” mentality since the start of the pandemic and will continue to do so now.

“The players have been really outstanding in how flexible they are and understand whatever their job is they got to do it with as much preparation as they have,” said Stefanski.

No matter what happens or who’s playing, the Browns will face the Raiders Monday at 5 p.m at FirstEnergy Stadium hoping for a much needed win to keep their playoff dreams alive.

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