Browns coach Kevin Stefanski, Baker Mayfield could test out of COVID protocols, be available in Green Bay

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski and Baker Mayfield could test out of the league’s COVID-19 protocols and be available for Saturday’s game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

Stefanski said Tuesday that most are cleared by Day 10. Because he and starting quarterback Baker Mayfield learned of their positive tests on Wednesday, they possibly could go to gameday before learning of their status.

Stefanski said that will require that he and Mayfield travel to Green Bay separately from the team.

Stefanski had previously said that when players came off the reserve/COVID-19 list he wouldn’t hesitate to play them. But when asked if that applied to a quarterback, especially given that Mayfield would not have participated in a live practice for two weeks, he hedged.

Cleveland Browns starting quarterback Baker Mayfield and head coach Kevin Stefanski have both tested positive for COVID.
Cleveland Browns starting quarterback Baker Mayfield and head coach Kevin Stefanski have both tested positive for COVID.

“Not necessarily, it wouldn’t be different,” Stefanski said. “Fingers crossed that we test out before Day 10.

“I’m not going to deal in speculation … We’ll talk about that as the week goes on.”

Browns try to bounce back: Browns takeaways: First to worst feeling crushes locker room: 'The most I've seen it in that kind of pain'

The Browns were without 22 players, at least nine of them starters, and three coaches, including Stefanski, for a heartbreaking 16-14 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Stefanski said there would not be any news of players testing out of the protocols until at least Wednesday. He said the Browns will have to constantly adjust this week as players are activated from the COVID list.

"You really circle Day 10 for all of us," Stefanski said, referring to the period following the initial positive test. "Obviously, the hope is that guys test out sooner than that so that you can get them in the building and get them back going physically, mentally, get them back out at practice and those type of things.

"Short of not knowing, we just have to plan on the people who we have and we know about, and then we will adjust based on what occurs over the next couple of days.”

Defensive ends suffer injuries: Browns D-ends banged up: Takk McKinley has torn Achilles, team awaiting test results on Myles Garrett's groin injury

The Browns (7-7) had their playoff hopes severely damaged and need to win their remaining three games to have a chance to reach the postseason. The Packers (11-3) boast the best record in the NFL.

Browns fall to 12th in AFC race for seven playoff spots: NFL playoff picture after Week 15: Vikings move into NFC's final wild-card spot, knocking Saints out

With Mayfield and backup Case Keenum on the COVID list, Nick Mullens made his first start as a Brown, and the 17th of his career, against the Raiders, with his record falling to 5-12. Mullens completed 20 of 30 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown for an 89.2 rating. His 6-yard scoring pass to tight end Harrison Bryant gave the Browns a 14-13 with 3:45 remaining.

What to know about Nick Mullens: Cleveland Browns QB Nick Mullens is next to Patrick Mahomes, Brett Favre in the record book

Mullens had only one practice with the Browns’ first unit on Saturday because Keenum didn’t learn he’d tested positive until after Thursday’s session.

“Honestly, he played like I thought he would play. He was efficient, he got through his reads, delivered the ball on time, fought 'til the end,” Stefanski said of Mullens. “Nick’s a grinder. He fits right in with that quarterback room with Baker and Case in terms of how those guys prepare. So not surprised.”

Compounding the difficult week ahead is the challenge of the Browns emotionally getting past the gut-wrenching loss to the Raiders and turning their focus to the Packers.

"That is what you do win, lose or draw. You just have to. You have to own it, and you have to learn from it, but then you really have to move on," Stefanski said. "We will talk about it when we get back together, but even after those wins, you have to flush those things because these things come at you fast and furious.”

Marla Ridenour can be reached at Read more about the Browns at Follow her on Twitter at

Browns at Packers

Time: 4:30 p.m. Saturday

TV: CBS/NFL Network

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Cleveland Browns Kevin Stefanski, Baker Mayfield may face Green Bay