UPDATE: Where the Browns Stand with COVID-19

It seems that our biggest fear as Browns fans is becoming reality. The COVID-19 testing racket has once again struck Berea at the worst possible time and head coach Kevin Stefanski won’t even be able to do his job on Sunday. Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer will fill in, while OC Alex Van Pelt will most likely call plays. Two other staff members have also tested positive.  Offensive line coach Bill Callahan remains on the COVID inactive list.

What’s more, OG Joel Bitonio and WR KhaDarel Hodge have “tested positive” for COVID-19, according to Tom Pelissero. This certainly hurts Baker Mayfield’s chances of success against what promises to be a formidable Pittsburgh defense at Heinz Field. As of right now, CB Denzel Ward and LB Malcolm Smith remain on the COVID-19 list, although there is hope that the 8:15 p.m. start time on Sunday night will give them enough time to test negative and make a return.

Losing Stefanski hurts the entire team big time. Coordinating game plans, play-calling and mental preparation are all thrown for a loop without the man in charge leading the way. There’s no way to sugarcoat this: the Browns have been severely screwed over for this game and they are at a serious disadvantage against a Steelers team with virtually zero major absences due to test results.

Of course, we will never know the legitimacy of these “positive tests” on the Browns. We will not see how many cycles were used to classify these positive results. Previously, I covered the extent of the fraudulent COVID-19 testing the NFL uses to rule out players.  The leading voice on COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has stated that any test using more than 35 cycles of amplification is useless and is hardly “replication-competent,” while appearing on a July 16 episode of the podcast “This Week in Virology.”  A link to the smoking gun can be found HERE.

If the NFL follows FDA guidelines, which recommend labs amplify test specimens up to 40 cycles, that means there are various cases of false positives throughout the NFL. It also means that players are being held out for having “dead nucleoids,” as Fauci calls them, which are not uncommon for people to be carrying in their bodies. Of course, if a player tests positive at around 20 cycles or so, that most likely means he is either sick or infectious and it becomes a different story.

The NFL must be investigated for this misleading narrative about COVID-19 spread. Their procedures must be questioned.  The narrative about “cases” and “positive tests” must be criticized if we are to actually play sports how they are supposed to be played: as communal gatherings of people from all walks of life.  Enough is enough.  It’s time to start acting like social beings again.


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