Browns head coach among those who received false-positive COVID-19 test results Sunday


tefanski was in limbo for about four hours until he learned the result was actually a false-positive

CLEVELAND (WJW) — Very early Sunday morning, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski got the news that probably made his heart stop for just a second — he had tested positive for COVID-19.

Stefanski was in limbo for about four hours until he learned the result was actually a false-positive.

Stefanski and multiple others in the organization, including players, were affected, and Sunday’s football practice was initially canceled. A lab in New Jersey was the reason for the error. And it wasn’t just the Browns, as 10 other NFL teams had false-positives reported. That’s a third of the NFL.

Implementing COVID-19 protocols, the Browns did not let Stefanski coach practice yesterday. Defensive coordinator Joe Woods did the honors, while Stefanski spent time on the phone and later was able to watch some of the practice on his iPad at a nearby condo where he was isolated.

Only after retesting were the players able to be cleared. In fact, at this moment some players may still be waiting to get an official OK to return (12 were still waiting to be cleared earlier this afternoon, Stefanski confirmed).

In a Zoom meeting today (seen below), Stefanski called the experience a “unique day.”

“It wasn’t fun,” Stefanski said. “It reinforces my feelings, my mentality, that No. 1, you don’t want get this and No. 2, you don’t want to give this to everyone, which is why we’re so strict about the protocols.”

Stefanski and his staff feel confident they can move on from this. Should this scenario repeat itself just before a game?  

“We will be prepared,” he said.

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