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Kevin Stefanski: Our full expectation is to go out there Saturday and find a way

As the league grapples with a staggering number of COVID-positive players, Mike Florio and Chris Simms wonder how many unavailable players is too many for the NFL's current protocols.

After missing last year’s Wild Card victory over the Steelers, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has tested positive for COVID-19 once again this week. Though he’s vaccinated and has received a booster shot, there’s still a good chance he won’t have two negative tests separated by 24 hours in time to coach Cleveland against Las Vegas on Saturday.

But even as the Browns currently have 18 players on their COVID-19 lists between the active roster and practice squad — including quarterback Baker Mayfield — Stefanski still expects his team to perform well against the Raiders. In a virtual press conference on Wednesday, Stefanski said he understands the situation, but the Browns have to stay focused.

“I’m kind of keeping the focus on today. We have a game at 4:30 on Saturday, unless someone tells me otherwise,” Stefanski said, via Mary Kay Cabot of “And, really, we just have to focus on what we need to do to prepare. And that’s our full expectation, is to get out there with our guys Saturday and go find a way.”

Stefanski noted that he’s spoken to Mayfield, who remains locked in despite his positive test.

“Really that’s what everybody has to do,” Stefanski said, via 92.3 The Fan. “Whether you’re positive or not, injured, you have to stay locked in. Baker, specifically, [is] locked in.”

Mayfield is one of several starters currently on the COVID-19 list. Receiver Jarvis Landry, left tackle Jedrick Wills, guard Wyatt Teller, tight end Austin Hooper, safety John Johnson, defensive tackle Malik McDowell and linebacker Anthony Walker are also on the list. Significant contributors like tight end David Njoku, cornerback Troy Hill, punter Jamie Gillan, and defensive end Takk McKinley are on COVID reserve, too.

The league has said there has not been any discussion of changing the status of Saturday’s game.

Stefanski was asked if he’d like to see the game postponed and said, “I’d like to see the Browns play well versus the Raiders.”