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Thursday March 4th, 2021 10:41PM

The Latest: Cleveland Browns facility still closed

By The Associated Press
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The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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The Cleveland Browns remain away from their facility and practice field while awaiting COVID-19 results only days before their first playoff game in nearly two decades.

The team has been limited to only virtual meetings in the aftermath of coach Kevin Stefanski, Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio and three others testing positive for the virus on Tuesday.

The Browns play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night in an AFC wild-card game.

Stefanski will not be on the sideline for Cleveland’s first postseason appearance since Jan. 5, 2003. Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will step in for Stefanski.

NFL rules prohibit any coaches from taking part remotely during games.

The Browns are hoping to get some players back from the COVID-19 list for the game. One is star cornerback Denzel Ward. He tested positive last week and missed Cleveland’s 24-22 win over Pittsburgh last Sunday.

Ward is Cleveland’s best defensive back and will be assigned to either Steelers wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster or Chase Claypool.

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No. 5 South Carolina has paused team activities and postponed its women’s basketball game with Georgia on Thursday night.

The team said a combination of a positive coronavirus test, contact tracing and quarantine led them to halt things until further testing is done. The Gamecocks are scheduled to play at No. 10 Kentucky on Sunday.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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