The Cleveland Browns have a proud franchise history. They were a dominant force in the All-America Football Conference. Since joining the NFL, they've won four league championships. However, the Browns' modern history has been a rather different story, including a zero-win 2017 season.

Things have been looking more up for the Browns recently. This season, they qualified for the postseason for the first time in almost two decades. But going into the first round of the playoffs, the Browns have suddenly become very short-handed.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski, at least four others test positive for the novel coronavirus

CBS reports that five key members of the Cleveland Browns have tested positive for COVID-19. This means they won't participate in their upcoming playoff game against their divisional rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Some other members of the organization had apparently also tested positive recently.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski is one of the five, notes ESPN. Stefanski is in his first season as an NFL head coach. He'd previously been a long-time assistant coach with the Minnesota Vikings. Stefanski was also a star player with the University of Pennsylvania, helping the school win three Ivy League Championships. His father, Ed Stefanski, is a former general manager of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers.

Guard Joel Bitonio has also tested positive. Bitonio is one of the team's most high-profile players and was a 2nd round pick by the Browns in the 2014 NFL Draft. Since then, he's become a three-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro.

Wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge is also among the five who need to sit out the game. Hodge is in his second season with the Browns.

He is a former member of the Los Angeles Rams, helping them reach Super Bowl LIII. The other two are tight ends coach Drew Petzing and defensive backs coach Jeff Howard. Both were assistant coaches with the Vikings alongside Kevin Stefanski.

Mike Priefer is to serve as the interim head coach

Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer is expected to fill in for Stefanski.

Priefer was with the Browns before Stefanski was hired. But he, too, had also worked with Stefanski with the Vikings. Priefer was an assistant with four other NFL teams beforehand.

His father, Chuck, was an assistant coach with three NFL teams. As well as the 1990 national champion Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at the NCAA level. The younger Priefer attended the U.S. Naval Academy, where he also played football. As a U.S. Navy officer, he served as a helicopter pilot.

Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt is also expected to take on an enhanced role. Van Pelt is a former player in the NFL. He's been an assistant coach with four other teams in the league.

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