The Cleveland Browns were cleared to return to practice Friday afternoon — their first practice of the week as they prepare for the franchise’s first playoff game since 2002.
The team’s facility in Berea, Ohio, had been closed since Tuesday after head coach Kevin Stefanski was among five members of the organization to test positive for COVID-19.
ESPN reported that all Browns players tested negative on Thursday and Friday, with only assistant offensive line coach Scott Peters testing positive.
Stefanski will miss Sunday night’s playoff game in Pittsburgh; special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will be the acting head coach and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt will call the plays against the Steelers.
Eight Browns players remain on the COVID-19 list, including Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio, safety Ronnie Harrison, tight end Harrison Bryant, cornerback Denzel Ward and receiver KhaDarel Hodge.
Receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones cleared concussion protocol and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.
Also questionable are tackle Jack Conklin (knee/illness), defensive end Myles Garrett (shoulder), cornerbacks Terrance Mitchell (not injury related) and M.J. Stewart (calf), defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (neck) and guard Wyatt Teller (ankle).
The Steelers enter Sunday night’s home game at Heinz Field in much better shape.
Kicker Chris Boswell (groin) was limited in practice on Friday — the only player who wasn’t a full participant.
Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who was listed on Thursday’s injury report with a knee issue, was a full participant in Friday’s practice.
Defensive end Isaiah Buggs (illness), safety Terrell Edmunds (shoulder), cornerback Steven Nelson (knee), defensive end Tyson Alualu (ankle) and linebacker Vince Williams (quad) also were full participants on Friday.
The Browns and Steelers split their two games this season.