The Browns have eight players off their 53-player roster on the COVID-19 reserve list, and Kevin Stefanski is among five coaches the Browns won’t have Sunday because of COVID-19 protocols.
Because of their COVID-19 outbreak, the Browns’ Friday practice was their first of the week.
On top of all that, the Browns list seven players as questionable on their injury report.
The Browns are the David in Sunday’s game. Or, according to Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, the Browns, who are making their first playoff appearance since 2002, are the same ol’ Browns.
“I think they’re still the same Browns that I’ve played every year,” Smith-Schuster said. “I think they’re nameless gray faces. They have a couple of good players on their team. But at the end of the day, . . . the Browns is the Browns. It’s AFC North football. They’re a good team. I’m just happy we’re playing them again.”
Browns defensive end Myles Garrett plans to prove Smith-Schuster wrong, though Garrett was uninterested in getting in a war of words. Garrett initially said, “No comment,” when asked about Smith-Schuster’s comment.
“We will have to prove it when we see them on Sunday,” Garrett later said, via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com.
Garrett said the Browns won’t make any excuses. They considered themselves underdogs all season, so nothing has changed.
“Just win. You can’t have any other mentality,” Garrett said. “Anybody can be beat. It does not matter who you have up. You are paid to be a performer, no matter where you sit on the depth chart – first or third. You are paid because you are one of the best in the world at your job, and you need to step up and show that.
“Nobody’s going to sit here and tell you we’re counting ourselves out. These guys are hungry, and we’re going to take it to them.”